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CN restructures western Canada/U.S. divisions, appoints regional heads


On June 25, Canadian National Railway Co. announced several executive appointments and a restructuring of its western Canada and U.S. divisions.

The Class I named Chief Transportation Officer Edmond Harris senior vice president of operations, responsible for all rail operations in Canada and the United States, as well as oversight of CN's Edmonton, Alberta, network operations center. Harris will succeed Jack McBain, who will retire June 30 after serving CN for 38 years.

The railroad also named Vice President-Midwest Division Gordon Trafton senior vice president-United States region and Vice President-Prairie Division Keith Creel senior vice president-Western Canada Region. All appointments are effective July 1. Keith Heller will continue to serve as senior vice president-Eastern Canada Region.

Harris and the three regional heads will report to President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison.

To be headquartered in Edmonton, the new Western Canada Region combines CN's Prairie and Pacific divisions, stretching from Northwestern Ontario to the Pacific; headquartered in Homewood, Ill., the new U.S. Region will absorb the former Midwest and Gulf divisions, which together maintained operations in 14 states.

"Our Eastern Canada organization, which had been substantially larger than our others, will remain unchanged and serve as a model as we adopt a structure of three regions of roughly equal size in terms of revenue, rail miles and employees," said Harrison in a prepared statement.

In railroading since 1968, Harris previously served as vice president-Midwest Division. At Illinois Central Railroad (IC), he served as vice president of operations, and held various posts in communications, materials control, transportation and labor relations.

With 25 years' railroad experience, Trafton previously served as vice president-Midwest Division. He served Burlington Northern Railroad (BN) for 18 years before joining IC in 1996.

Creel began his rail career in 1992 with BN before joining IC in 1996. He previously served as general manager of the Midwest Division's Michigan zone and vice president-prairie division.

A CN employee since 1966, Heller previously served as assistant vice president of ores, minerals and metals, chief of transportation, senior vice president-CN East and senior vice president of line operations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/26/2003