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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



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10/26/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN might not honor passenger-rail service expansion agreement, Amtrak says


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Amtrak’s plans to launch expanded service between Chicago and downstate Illinois by month’s end have hit a snag. Canadian National Railway Co. and its Illinois Central Railroad subsidiary might not honor an agreement that would enable Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation to operate additional trains along their track, Amtrak said.

On Monday, Amtrak and IDOT are scheduled to begin operating two additional daily round trips along the 284-mile Chicago-to-St. Louis corridor, of which CN-IC own 37 miles. The passenger railroad also is expected to begin operating two additional trains along the 310-mile Chicago-to-Carbondale line, which is almost entirely owned by CN-IC.

“Amtrak has been in communication with CN-IC officials since March concerning this service,” said Amtrak Senior Vice President of Operations William Crosbie in a prepared statement. “Amtrak has hired and trained employees, renovated train equipment, purchased advertising and mounted a series of public events — some of which CN was a participant — supporting the new train frequencies.”

If the CN-IC doesn’t honor the agreement, Amtrak would either seek assistance from a national arbitration panel or a federal restraining order, Amtrak said.

CN and Amtrak currently are discussing the service agreements, says CN spokesman Mark Hallman, declining further comment.

Angela Cotey


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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