Digest: VIA plans for Western Canada service uncertain as virus cases increase (updated)

News Wire Digest second section for Nov. 23: Major shareholder wants CN, CP to detail climate-change actions; CSX employee killed in Ohio work accident
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Baggage is unloaded from the Canadian at Melville, Sask., in 2018. An upswing in COVID-19 cases in Western Canada has the resumption of VIA service between Winnipeg and Vancouver in doubt.
Bob Johnston

More Monday morning rail news:

With COVID-19 upswing, restart of VIA service in Western Canada not certain

VIA Rail Canada plans to restart service on the route of the Canadian between Vancouver, British Columbia and Winnipeg, Manitoba, are continuing, but are not final, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. The plans to resume service on Dec. 11 are in question [see “VIA Rail Canada to resume service between Vancouver, Winnipeg,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 21, 2020], with Manitoba leading Canada in COVID-19 cases and other provinces increasing restrictions. Spokesman Philippe Cannon told the paper in an email that VIA is “closely monitoring the situation in Western Canada and [is] in regular contact with public health authorites.” A tour operator who took part in a briefing call said the train would operate with new rules: the Park-class dome-observation-lounge will be closed, as would shared-berth sleeping accommodations; showers will be scheduled to allow cleaning between customers; lunch will be served to all passengers at their seats; and premium-class customers will have scheduled time slots for breakfast and dinner in the dining car.

Key shareholder wants CN, CP to detail greenhouse-gas strategies (updated)
A major shareholder for Canadian National and Canadian Pacific is calling on the two railroads to include details on combating climate change at their upcoming annual meetings. The Canadian Press reports TCI Fund Management Ltd., owned by British billionaire Christopher Hohn, wants the companies to outline strategies for greenhouse gas emissions. TCI, founded in 2003, says climate change is at the heart of its investment strategies. It is CN’s fifth-largest shareholder with 2.92% of stock and CP’s largest with roughly 8.3%, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. CN has subsequently announced its support for the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures [see “Digest: Utah considers cog railway …,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 23, 2020].

CSX employee killed in Fostoria, Ohio
A CSX employee was killed Sunday morning in an accident at the railroad’s yard in Fostoria, Ohio. The railroad confirmed the accident in an email to the Toledo Blade, but offered no other details. Local law enforcement also provided no additional information.

— Note: Second item updated at 9:45 a.m. to reflect CN announcement on climate-related financial disclosures

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