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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, CN to exchange trackage and other access rights in three areas


The Class Is continue to forge agreements aimed at sharing infrastructure to increase capacity and improve network fluidity without needing to build more track. Yesterday, BNSF Railway Co. and Canadian National Railway Co. announced they agreed to exchange trackage, haulage and other access rights on lines in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, and mainlines between Memphis, Tenn., and southern Illinois.

In Vancouver, CN will obtain operational, dispatching and maintenance control of 12 miles of joint track between the Fraser River Bridge in New Westminster and south shore ocean terminals near downtown. The track connects CN’s network with north shore terminals and shippers, and former BC Rail Ltd. lines.

“These agreements are smart railroading: CN’s track and rail infrastructure sharing agreements with BNSF are creative means of improving network fluidity and increasing traffic density on our system,” said CN President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison in a prepared statement.

In Chicago, BNSF will assume operational, dispatching and maintenance control of CN’s Corwith Tower interlocker. BNSF also will obtain trackage rights on CN’s 30-mile line between Corwith and Joliet, Ill., two-mile line near 49th Street in Chicago, and the Memphis-to-southern Illinois mainlines. In addition, CN will transfer its Memphis interlocker to BNSF.

“We now can tap CN’s surplus capacity between Memphis and Centralia, Ill., to expand our ability to handle more traffic,” said BNSF Chairman, President and CEO Matthew Rose.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/20/2006