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4/14/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN reaches mitigation agreement with last major Indiana city, submits compliance reports to STB


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CN continues to hammer out mitigation agreements with 33 Illinois and Indiana communities affected by its integration of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Co. (EJ&E). Yesterday, the Class I announced it reached an agreement with Gary, Ind.

Now, CN has voluntary pacts in place with all major Indiana communities, and about half of the population and 15 municipalities along EJ&E lines in the two states are covered by mitigation agreements, the railroad said.

The Gary pact addresses the city's noise and traffic concerns by establishing CN funding for quiet zones, noise mitigation, emergency response training and economic development, and other measures.

“Gary — the largest city in northwestern Indiana — is very important to CN because it's home to the EJ&E's Kirk Yard, a terminal that we intend to upgrade and make into a pivotal freight-car classification hub,” said Gordon Trafton, CN’s senior vice president of strategic acquisitions, in a prepared statement.

CN continues to implement mitigation measures stipulated in voluntary agreements with communities, as well as those required by the Surface Transportation Board (STB). The Class I expects to fully integrate the EJ&E into its network within three years.

The railroad recently filed its first compliance reports with the STB, according to the board. CN is required to submit monthly operational reports and quarterly environmental reports to the STB during a five-year oversight period.

The operating reports include train volume, accident/incident and grade crossing blockage data, while the environmental reports document CN’s progress in meeting environmental mitigation conditions. The next monthly operating report is due on May 11 and next quarterly environmental report is due July 10.


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