CN: British Columbia Productivity Near ‘Pre-Washout’ Levels

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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CN has reported that the productivity and capacity of its network in British Columbia is nearing pre-washout levels, as crews continue to work around the clock.

When CN’s network was shut down between Nov. 14 and Dec. 4, 2021, due to disastrous flooding cutting off Vancouver from rail and road service, the Class I railroad experienced 58 outages over a 150-mile stretch. It mobilized more than 400 employees and contractors and 110-plus pieces of heavy equipment, operating 24/7 to resume service. Some 282,000 cubic yards of rock, earth and backfill materials were moved to rebuild damaged locations, the equivalent of more than 25,000 truckloads, according to CN.

“Despite significant setbacks, including a recent stoppage near Jasper and cold weather in the Prairies, operating metrics are pointing toward successful recovery efforts approximately two weeks after the network reopened,” CN reported on Dec. 21.

The railroad worked closely with emergency management officials to provide assistance to British Columbians impacted by the weather. The partners helped evacuate hundreds of stranded residents, brought medical care to areas cut off by floods, and delivered medical equipment to locations isolated by the water, said CN, which also donated $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross British Columbia floods and extreme weather appeal.

Additionally, CN used its exclusive access to the Port of Prince Rupert to move goods, and upped resources and staffing levels to keep Canadian natural resources moving to markets and consumer goods from overseas flowing to communities across North America.

CN President and CEO JJ Ruest

“We could not be prouder of the remarkable work done by our railroaders and suppliers to get goods moving again while also answering the call to help out neighbors in times of need,” CN President and CEO JJ Ruest said. “The strategic capital investments we made in our capacity over the last few years has once again enabled us to be resilient and recover quickly. We know that there remains work ahead of us to get supply chains back in balance. We are committed to getting the job done and we are encouraged by the results to date and the operating metrics which demonstrate that we are achieving success in restoring close to normal productivity.”

Canadian Pacific resumed service between Kamloops, British Columbia, and Vancouver on Nov. 23.

In related news, the governments of Canada and British Columbia established a joint Supply Chain Recovery Working Group to help restore the flow of goods through the province.

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