Digest: CP runs first international container train from Saint John, N.B.

News Wire Digest third section for Aug. 11: George Washington University to advise Amtrak on virus; Sound Transit to offer rail service increases in September
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Tuesday afternoon rail news:

CP operates first international intermodal train from Saint John

In a preview of the railroad's future plans, Canadian Pacific operated its first international intermodal train from the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, today. The train carried containers from the Hapag-Lloyd ship Detroit Express, bound for terminals in Canada and the U.S. The Hapag-Lloyd container ship had diverted to Saint John from its normal route to Montreal, whose port has been sidelined by a dockworker strike four times in the past month. CP is hoping to land regular transatlantic service to the port of Saint John, which is undergoing an expansion. “The new Port of Saint John service offers shippers a compelling value: a congestion-free port with a world-class operator, matched with CP's precision scheduled railroading model,” Keith Creel, CP President and CEO, said in a press release “CP has been without access to a deep-water Atlantic Ocean port for a quarter-century, and today I'm pleased to deliver a simple message: We're back.” CP gained access to the port through its recent purchase of the Central Maine & Quebec, connecting via the New Brunswick Southern and Eastern Maine short lines.

University to advise Amtrak on COVID-19 response
George Washington University will advise Amtrak on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the railroad has announced. The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the school’s Milken Institute School of Public Health will advise Amtrak on such matters as safe work practices, monitoring the pandemic to anticipate and respond to geographic transmission trends, practices for COVID-19 prevention, and review of disinfecting and sanitation practices at trains and other facilities. “To continue providing service across 46 states, we need to be aware of the impact of the coronavirus as well as best practices, regional disparities, and evolving guidance from health officials,” Steve Predmore, Amtrak executive vice president and chief safety officer, said in a press release. “The extensive expertise within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health will augment our internal health and safety team as we continue to make decisions to protect customers and our employees who serve them.”

Sound Transit sets September increases in light rail, commuter rail service
Seattle’s Sound Transit will increase light rail and Sounder South service as part of its fall schedule update in mid-September, reflecting increased system ridership. KOMO News reports that beginning Sept. 19, light rail trains will operate on 8-minute headways on weekdays, 15-minute headways during peak periods and on weekends, and every 30 minutes on weekends. Sounder South service to Tacoma will increase from seven to nine round trips as of Sept. 21. Sounder North service to Everett will continue at its current reduced levels. More information is available here.




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