Digest: CN CEO says railroad can likely avoid further layoffs this year

News Wire Digest for Nov. 19: Investigation underway for fatal Alabama accident; UP names new VP for Mexico sales and marketing
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JJ Ruest

Thursday morning rail news:

CN should avoid layoffs unless virus causes another drop in traffic, CEO says

Canadian National is likely to avoid further layoffs unless the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic causes a significant drop in rail traffic. The Canadian Press reports CEO JJ Ruest said Wednesday, after marking the 25th anniversary of the company’s privatization, “If the economy slows down we might have to have layoffs.” The company made significant layoffs in the second quarter when freight volume dropped dramatically because of the pandemic, but has recalled some of those workers. Ruest said the company probably has more employees than it currently requires because of the need to cover for those who become infected with or quarantine because of the virus.

NTSB, FRA begin investigation into fatal Alabama accident
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Railroad Administration are investigating Tuesday’s accident in Prichard, Ala., in which one man was killed and two were injured when a train hit a crew doing track work. WALA-TV reports that the accident occurred on a 12.1-mile stretch of railroad owned by Canadian National subsidiary Illinois Central, which serves the Alabama Port Authority and connects to seven other rail lines. The Alabama Export Railroad, which operates the line, told the TV station the accident involved an external contractor.

UP names Vargas as VP for Mexico marketing and sales
Union Pacific has named Humberto Vargas vice president, Mexico, Marketing and Sales. The move is effective Dec. 1. Vargas succeeds Bernardo Ayala, appointed to a leadership position in Locomotive Distribution and Network Operations. Vargas will oversee international business strategy in all commodity areas traveling across the six rail gateways to Mexico, and will work with customers, other railroads, suppliers, and governmental agencies. More information is available here.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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