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CN ends bid to acquire Ontario Northland Railway from province


On June 2, Canadian National Railway Co. announced it ended negotiations with Ontario's government to acquire Ontario Northland Railway (ONRail) because the provincial government "demanded" public sector-like job guarantees for the railway's employees.

"It's unfortunate that CN's plans for ONRail — plans to improve service and productivity, secure employment and invest more than $30 million in railway improvements — have ended over a job-guarantee issue," said Claude Mongeau, CN's executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a prepared statement.

In October 2002, CN began exclusive negotiations with the province to acquire the 700-mile regional after Ontario Northland Transportation Commission's directors concluded that CN's ONRail plan best met commission objectives of job protection, economic development, and improved freight and passenger service. CN had expected to close the transaction in the first quarter.

ONRail provides freight and passenger services in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec; operates 30 diesel electric locomotives and 810 rail cars; primarily serves metal and forest-product shippers; and interchanges with CN at North Bay, Ontario, about 200 miles north of Toronto.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/2/2003