customs brokerage, freight forwarding and truck transportation

Negative Impact of Cold On Rail

: Transport

Bitter Cold Affects Rail Operations: Impacts Across the System 2018-01-03

On December 29, CN (Canadian National Railway) issued the following advisory.
 
CN is experiencing the prolonged effects of severe cold weather conditions in our Canadian and U.S. Midwest rail network. As part of CN’s winter preparedness and train operating plan, when cold temperatures fall below -25°C, to ensure safe train operations, train length restrictions go into effect. As a result, our trains operating in the corridors from Toronto and Chicago through to Prince Rupert and Vancouver have to be shorter trains, which means subsequently reduced weekly intermodal capacity. To support our winter train operating plan, we have moved all available crews and locomotives into key locations. We have also established critical situation rooms in Canada and the U.S. to drive optimized traffic control. We are committed to moving your goods as safely and quickly as possible. However, the weather outlook predicts this Arctic cold will persist for another 7 to 10 days in key areas.
 
Considering the reduction in train lengths and network capacity there will be a temporary impact to on-time train and terminal dwell performance. The following outlines further network and terminal specifics: 
  • As the flow of empties is moving into the ports, corresponding flows of loaded containers departing the ports are also reduced.
  • Westbound traffic originating in Toronto and Montreal will have increased transit, and in-gate bookings are currently being reviewed to ensure that terminal fluidity is being maintained. We will send out a daily notice of the current reservation.
  • Container yards (CYs) in Calgary and Edmonton expect increased congestion, therefore gate reservations will be reduced to a limited quantity this week with the potential for further reductions the following week, weather dependent. You are encouraged to make use of outside CY yards for the next 7 to 10 days.
  • Based on high empty container ground count and to maintain terminal fluidity, the Chicago Harvey Terminal will be shutting truck gates for OSM empties for two days, from January 1, 00:01 to January 2, 23:59.
  • A reduced number of loaded export containers will be accepted at our Saskatchewan Terminal.
  • Detroit and Memphis terminals remain fluid and operational. 
Additionally, the Port of Montreal has closed due to waterfront labour supply. As a result, we cannot accept in-gates for export loads or empties directed towards the Port of Montreal until January 2nd, when the port is scheduled to reopen.
 
For all import and export OSM Intermodal traffic moving, we encourage you to factor 48 hours of additional transit time into your planning. We are monitoring the situation very closely and will provide further updates in regards to flow of traffic to/from our terminals and ports. We will keep you updated as the situation evolves.

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