Friday, February 08, 2013

CN, AMT spar over Montreal locomotive use

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A dispute over locomotive operations in the Montreal metropolitan area is pitting CN against regional rail operator Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (AMT). CN, which owns right-of-way used by AMT, is prohibiting the operation of AMT's ALP-45DP locomotives.

The dual-mode locomotives, built by Bombardier Transportation, also are operated by New Jersey Transit Corp. NJT owns most of its right-of-way, though it also operates over Amtrak's Northeast Corridor to and from New York's Penn Station.

AMT's 20 locomotives have been rendered inactive since last December following a derailment at Montreal's Central Station. Canada's Transportation Safety Board has produced initial findings suggesting the derailment was caused by track irregularities, not any locomotive flaw.

As a result, AMT now wants to reactivate the locomotives, but CN is resisting any such move. Local media report CN still considers the ALP-45DP a "complicated technical issue."

For AMT, the ban on locomotive operations puts pressure on its plans for operations over its Train de l'Est line linking Montreal and Mascouche, Quebec, scheduled to open in 2014.

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