Digest: CN plans more than $500 million in U.S. capital spending

News Wire Digest second section for July 30: Intermodal association reports significant second-quarter drop in volume; Pennsylvania tourist railroad cancels 2020 season
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Canadian National's RDC track geometry car passes through Lemont, Ill., in February 2020. CN plans to spend $165 million on capital projects in Illinois, leading its state-by-state spending.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Thursday midday rail news:

CN to spend more than $520 on U.S. capital work

Canadian National will spend more than $520 million on capital projects in the United States, according to state-by-state plans released this week. Notable projects include work on Chicago’s St. Charles Air Line bridge; a new auto facility in New Richmond, Wis; expansion of an auto facility in Flint, Mich.; continued work on the McComb Spillway Bridge in Louisiana, and dock repairs in Minnesota. Overall plans call for replacement of more than 58 miles of rail and 614,000 ties, repairs to 215 grade crossings, and continued work on positive train control. Capital spending by state includes $165 million in Illinois, $100 million in Wisconsin, $60 million in Louisiana, $55 million in Michigan, $50 million in Mississippi, $30 million in Tennessee, and $25 million in Minnesota. The railroad had previously released plans for more than $1.5 billion in capital spending in Canada [see “Digest: 50% capacity rule lifted for NJ Transit,” July 14, 2020].

Intermodal group reports significant declines during pandemic
Intermodal traffic showed continued declines in the second quarter of 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to figures from the Intermodal Association of North America. Overall, intermodal traffic fell by 11.9% from the same quarter in 2019, led by a 15.4% decrease in international shipments. Domestic containers fell by 7% and trailers by 14%.  “Second-quarter results showed the full impact of the economic downturn attributed to COVID-19,” Joni Casey, president and CEO of the intermodal association, said in a press release. “Slowing imports and declining diesel prices affected both international and domestic volumes. We anticipate that the Q2 drop off should be a floor going forward.”

Oil Creek & Titusville cancels 2020 season
Pennsylvania’s Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad has cancelled its 2020 season, including fall foliage trips scheduled for October. The railroad, based in Titusville, Pa., about 45 miles southeast of Erie, operates on a former Conrail branch. The Erie News Now website reports the railroad will honor 2020 gift cards in 2021.




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