Trains News Wire Digest for Monday, Feb. 17

Amtrak trains to Canada disrupted by blockades; Alstom confirms talks to buy Bombardier rail unit; and more
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Monday morning rail news:

— Amtrak service to and from Canada was disrupted Sunday by the rail blockades in that country. The Maple Leaf originated and ended in Niagara Falls, N.Y., instead of Toronto; the northbound Adirondack terminated in Albany rather than Montreal, while the southbound train originated in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Some Amtrak Cascade trains between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, were cancelled, but northbound train No. 518 did operate to Vancouver as scheduled. For Monday train status, watch the Amtrak Alerts Twitter account (@AmtrakAlerts) for up-to-date information on train status. VIA Rail Canada has shut down all service except its Sudbury-White River train, which operates on Canadian Pacific, and the train between Churchill and The Pas, which operates on Hudson Bay Railway. A notice on VIA’s website says the company is currently not accepting reservations for any trip prior to Feb. 22.

— Alstom confirmed it is in talks with Bombardier “regarding a possible acquisition of Bombardier Transportation” in a brief statement issued this morning. The statement said discussions are ongoing, with no final decision having been reached. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a preliminary deal has been reached which would see Alstom acquire Bombardier’s rail unit for more than $7 billion, and that the deal could be announced as early as today. (That article, available to Journal subscribers only, is available here.) Talks between the companies were first reported last month [see “Report: Bombardier, Alstom discussing combining rail units,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 22, 2020].

— Union Pacific and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have sued each other in federal court in Illinois over new work policies, Courthouse News Service reports. The union claims the railroad is violating the Railway Labor Act by implementing the policy; the railroad says the issue qualifies as a “minor dispute” subject to mandatory arbitration. The changes in question deal with what the railroad considers unexcused or excessive absenteeism.

— The pedestrian who was struck by a car after the vehicle was hit by a Metra commuter train has died. reports 19-year-old Christopher Davis died Friday as a result of injuries suffered in the Feb. 12 accident, in which a car, caught inside crossing gates near the intersection of 87th Street and Pulaski Road in Southwest Chicago, tried to move across the tracks and was struck by an outbound train. The car then struck Davis, who was pinned under the train. Three passengers in the car also suffered critical injuries.


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