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4/8/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN to challenge Ferroequus' amended running-rights application


Canadian National Railway Co. April 5 announced plans to challenge Canadian Transportation Agency's (CTA) recent decision to consider Ferroequus Railway Co. Ltd.'s amended running-rights application.
CN officials, who believe the amended application is "an abuse of process," plan to appeal the decision to Canada's Federal Court of Appeal on the grounds that "CTA lacks jurisdiction" to proceed with an amended application, according to a prepared statement.
CTA plans April 29 to hold a public hearing on the matter in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
CTA in May 2001 rejected Ferroequus' original application to obtain running rights to CN's Western Canadian branch lines — along with a similar application submitted by OmniTRAX Inc.'s Hudson Bay Railway Co., which sought running rights to CN's 1,500 track miles in Saskatchewan and Manitoba — ruling that the agency lacked jurisdiction to consider such applications.
CTA March 27 denied Ferroequus' second running-rights attempt, ruling that the application submitted earlier this year was incomplete; Ferroequus then recently submitted to CTA an amended application.
CN officials believe forced access would threaten the survival of low-density sections of its network, undermine the Class I's future rail investment and potentially require taxpayers to again subsidize Canadian railways.


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