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3/28/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN, NS forge routing protocol pact to improve traffic flow



Add another one to the growing list of Class I routing protocol agreements. Today, Canadian National Railway Co. and Norfolk Southern Railway announced they agreed to direct rail traffic through “more efficient” interchange locations to improve network capacity and asset utilization, and reduce transit times. The Class Is plan to implement the operational changes during the next three months.

Currently, CN and NS interchange traffic in Detroit; Chicago; New Orleans; Toledo, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn.; Mobile, Ala.; and Rouses Point and Buffalo, N.Y. Under the agreement, traffic moving between the Louisiana Gulf Coast area and U.S. northeast will be interchanged directly in New Orleans or Memphis to create a more direct route and reduce intermediate handlings.

“This agreement will improve our interline coordination and equipment cycles,” said James Foote, CN executive vice president of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement.

In addition, traffic moving between western Canada and the South-Central U.S. will be interchanged in Memphis to avoid congestion and additional handlings in Chicago. The railroads also will expand their Rouses Point gateway agreement announced in November 2004 so they can handle more traffic between eastern Canada and the southeastern U.S.

"With the demand for freight-rail service increasing at historic levels throughout North America, this is a creative way of expanding network capacity and enhancing the service options available to our joint customers,” said NS EVP of Sales and Marketing Donald Seale.

During the past year, CN has reached routing protocol agreements with BNSF Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway; NS has forged similar pacts with CPR (including one that involves CN).


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