Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hunter Harrison to regulator: Don’t mess with my productivity

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) on Sept. 13, 2013, ordered Canadian Pacific Railway to immediately cease and desist “load testing” and idling operations in proximity to its Locomotive Reliability Centre (LRC) at Alyth Yard, Calgary. CP, noting CTA’s apparent inability to recognize that railroads operate round-the-clock, on Sept. 19 announced plans to close the LRC over the next few months and lay off 130 people.

CP said its decision is the result of the order directing the railway to effectively shut down the Alyth LRC between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. “This order poses productivity challenges for service and maintenance work of locomotives during this ordered time,” CP said. “It fails to recognize our 24-7 operational requirements and restricts our ability to provide service for customers in Calgary, throughout North America, and those relying on coastal ports for off-shore shipments.”

In the coming months, locomotive repair and maintenance work, previously conducted in Calgary’s 60-year-old Alyth LRC, will be transitioned to other maintenance facilities on the CP network. Alyth Yard “will continue to serve as an important rail yard operation for CP, as it has for more than a century,” CP said. “The CTA decision does not impact other 24-7 railway activities taking place in the yard.”