Digest: Approaching hurricane disrupts freight, Amtrak service to New Orleans

News Wire Digest for Oct. 7: Illinois community could land Bombardier plant; CN names new member of board of directors
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Wednesday morning rail news:

Freight, Amtrak service to New Orleans disrupted as hurricane approaches

The New Orleans Flood Protection Authority plans to begin closing the city’s floodgates today in preparation for Hurricane Delta, which will interrupt the flow of freight traffic through the city, Norfolk Southern is advising customers. The storm is projected to make landfall along the Gulf Coast late this week. NS says it has begun precautionary moves to protect infrastructure and equipment, and is working with customers to address switching needs and with other railroads to move shipments through alternate interchange gateways. Union Pacific has told shippers that interchange via New Orleans ended at midnight Tuesday, and that it is also making preparations “to ensure any potential outages are addressed and repaired as quickly as possible.” As it has for other storms this season, Amtrak will cancel the City of New Orleans and alter service on the routes of the Crescent and Sunset Limited. The southbound City of New Orleans will be cancelled Oct. 8 and the northbound train is cancelled Oct. 9; the Crescent departing New York Oct. 9 will terminate in Atlanta, and the northbound train will originate in Atlanta on Oct. 11. The Sunset Limited leaving Los Angeles today, Oct. 7, will terminate in San Antonio and the westbound Sunet will originate in San Antonio on Oct. 11. Full details from Amtrak are available here.

County official says Bombardier could open plant in Montgomery, Ill.
Bombardier may lease part of a vacant factory in Montgomery, Ill., to build new passenger cars for Metra, the chairman of the Kendall County, Ill., board said at a Tuesday meeting. WSPY Radio reports that board chairman Scott Gryder informed the board that the Canadian company, which is in the process of having its rail division purchased by France’s Alstom, would lease part of a former Caterpillar tractor plant in Montgomery, and create about 300 jobs. The move would be contingent on Bombardier winning the contract to build the new Metra rolling stock. Metra’s preliminary capital budget, released Tuesday, includes $61.5 million for new rolling stock, and the press release announcing the budget said the agency is close to selecting a builder for its new equipment [see “Preliminary 2021 Metra budget doesn’t include service cuts …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 7, 2020].

CN names McKenzie to board of directors
Canadian National has appointed Margaret A. McKenzie, a veteran of 30 years in the energy sector, to its board of directors, the railroad said in a press release. McKenzie, 58, was chief financial officer at Range Royalty Management Ltd., a firm focused on acquiring oil and gas royalties in Western Canada, from 2006 to 2014, and CFO of Profico Energy Management Ltd. from 2000 to 2006. She has experience on both public and private boards.


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