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Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN reaches EJ&E-related mitigation agreement with Lake Zurich

CN recently reached a voluntary mitigation agreement (VMA) with the village of Lake Zurich, Ill., regarding  the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Co. (EJ&E) acquisition — the 20th VMA the Class I has negotiated with 33 Chicago-area municipalities affected by the transaction.

The Lake Zurich VMA calls for a range of environmental measures, including noise mitigation, maintenance of an existing quiet zone, emergency response training, safety initiatives and improved communication.

Since CN acquired the EJ&E in January, the Class I has undertaken a “series of measures that underscore our commitment to work with municipalities to minimize the transaction’s impacts,” said CN Senior Vice President-Southern Region Jim Vena in a prepared statement. Those efforts include a reduction in the number and duration of vehicular delays caused by trains stopped at EJ&E grade crossings for 10 minutes or more; the creation of a section on CN’s Web site that provides information about EJ&E construction projects and routine maintenance activities; community liaison meetings to follow through with VMAs and regulatory requirements; CN-funded emergency responder training programs; and the application of new safety equipment on the EJ&E to monitor wheel and bearing conditions, and lubricate rail to reduce train noise.

“CN has been working productively with the communities having VMAs to address a broad range of issues, particularly safety,” said Vena. “And we continue to work with communities along the EJ&E that do not have agreements with CN to ensure we implement the safety and environmental conditions required by the STB.”

The Class I expects to fully integrate the CN and EJ&E networks within three years.

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More News from 11/18/2009