For CP, a NAFTA strategy (February 2000)


NAFTA is altering Canadian Pacific Railway's traditional east-west traffic flows, increasing north-south volumes — and prompting CP's eastern subsidiary to re-evaluate its place in the rail transport chain, said Jacques Coté, president and CEO of CP's St. Lawrence & Hudson Railway Co. Ltd. (StL&H).

Coté discussed StL&H's growth prospects at a Jan. 13 Transportation Research Forum luncheon in New York City.

Although CP's western operations are resource-based, StL&H relies on intermodal, automotive and manufacturing traffic. CP wants to compete with trucks on 350 to 400-mile short-haul corridors. At 382 miles, Montreal-to-New York is a prime example, but not an easy market to crack due to post-Conrail james, Coté said.

"We haven't been able to fully capitalize on the opportunities ... to look the customer in the eye and say, 'We can deliver for you,'" he said. To achieve that goal, StL&H must "think like a trucker."

Although the Surface Transportation Board-mandated east-of-the-Hudson service into New York City shows promise, it's hampered by restricted clearances and nighttime-only operating windows on Metro North.

CP plans to enhance a bulk transfer center at Harlem River Yard in the Bronx. Similar facilities also are located in Albany, N.Y., Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia.

Gaining access to a rebuilt Staten Island Railway and Howland Hook Marine Terminal is crucial, Coté stressed: Two CP ship lines dock there.

— Joe Greenstein

Source: The February 2000 issue of Progressive Railroading