Digest: CP, CN shoot down Saskatoon's concept of shared main line

News Wire Digest for Sept. 4: NJ Transit says it will have full roster of engineers in early 2021; VRE names new CEO
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Friday morning rail news:

CN, CP call Saskatoon shared-main proposal 'unworkable'

The proposal by the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to have Canadian National and Canadian Pacific share a rail corridor through the city to decrease traffic disruptions has been shot down by both railroads. CTV News reports both railroads sent letters to City Manager Jeff Jorgensen saying neither supported the concept, which the city proposed late last year [see “Saskatoon proposal would see CN, CP share tracks, diverting CP traffic from downtown,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 18, 2019]. CP’s letter said the proposal “is fundamentally unworkable” because it would constrain capacity and efficiency of the rail system and reduce CP’s operational flexibility. CN said the “flow and volume of current and future traffic in Saskatoon makes sharing an asset, like a right of way, not feasible.”

NJ Transit graduates more engineers, nears full roster
NJ Transit says it is on pace to finally have a full roster of locomotive engineers by early 2021 after 17 more trainees graduated from their 20-month training program on Thursday. New Jersey 101.5 radio reports that, at a ceremony for the graduates, NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett said that, once this class completes field training and final check rides this month, the agency will have added 76 new engineers since 2018, bringing its total roster to 373. A shortage of engineers has blamed for frequent cancellations of NJ Transit trains since 2017 [see “New Jersey lawmakers question NJ Transit’s engineer shortage,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 27, 2017].

VRE names Dalton as CEO
Rich Dalton, who had been serving as acting CEO of Virginia Railway Express, has been named to the position on a permanent basis. Dalton has been with VRE for 11 years, serving as deputy CEO and chief operating officer prior to being named to the acting CEO position in November 2019. Dalton’s selection was made by the VRE’s two governing bodies, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the Rappahannock Transportation Commission. Their selection followed the recommendation of the VRE Operations Board. “Rich’s decades of experience and railroad savvy make him the ideal candidate for the position,” Gary Skinner, chairman of operations board, said in a press release “His leadership and vision will not only allow our commuter rail system to weather the challenges presented by the current health crisis but to emerge a stronger organization, well positioned for future growth.”


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