News Wire Digest Second Section for Wednesday, March 25 (updated)

Bombardier halts production; Mount Royal tunnel closure delayed; Sound Transit sues Microsoft; and more
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More Wednesday morning rail news:

— Bombardier is suspending production at its Canadian rail and aircraft plants, sending 12,400 workers home on unpaid leave, the Canadian Press reports. The shutdown was to begin Tuesday evening and last through April 24. The Montreal-based company will idle 9,000 workers in Quebec, with the rest in Ontario, and has cut all discretionary spending while “pursuing additional measures to enhance liquidity,” CEO Pierre Beaudoin said. Executives as well as rank-and-file workers are foregoing pay.

— The closure of Montreal’s Mount Royal tunnel, already pushed back from its planned January start, has been delayed again because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Global News reports that, because of Quebec’s stay-at-home order, work on the REM light rail system — including the conversion of the tunnel for light rail use — has been halted until at least April 14. The tunnel had been slated to be closed March 30. In the meantime, its use by Exo commuter trains will continue.

— Seattle’s Sound Transit is suing Microsoft over land and access to build a light rail line to downtown Redmond, Wash., with the agency and company $17.5 million apart on the value of the land. The Seattle Times reports that Sound Transit says Microsoft is putting at risk its ability to complete the project by the target date of August 2024.

— Norfolk Southern is promoting Vanessa Allen to executive vice president and chief legal officer as of April 1. She joined the company as vice president law in 2018, was promoted to senior vice president government relations and chief legal officer in 2019, and has recently focused on the railroad’s relationships with national, state, and local governmental bodies. “Vanessa is an invaluable contributor to NS, with important responsibilities across a number of areas critical to our company’s success,” President and CEO James A. Squires said in a press release.

— Tweetsie Railroad, the Wild West theme park in Blowing Rock, N.C., featuring a 3-mile train ride, will delay its season opening, originally scheduled for April 3. The park, founded in 1957 as a train ride, sees about 250,000 visitors a year.

— Updated at 9 a.m. CDT to include news on Mount Royal tunnel.




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