Class I Briefs: CN, UP

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
CN may continue work on its Milton intermodal terminal, which will include a rail yard with more than 12 miles of track, pending a decision by the Canadian Federal Appeal Court. It is being built in “a provincially designated significant employment zone,” on 400 of the 1,000 acres of land owned by CN east of Tremaine Road and south of Britannia Road in Milton, and adjacent to CN’s Halton Subdivision. (Screen-grab of CN video)

CN may continue work on its Milton intermodal terminal, which will include a rail yard with more than 12 miles of track, pending a decision by the Canadian Federal Appeal Court. It is being built in “a provincially designated significant employment zone,” on 400 of the 1,000 acres of land owned by CN east of Tremaine Road and south of Britannia Road in Milton, and adjacent to CN’s Halton Subdivision. (Screen-grab of CN video)

A Canadian federal judge is allowing, for now, continued construction of CN’s C$250 million Milton, Ontario, intermodal terminal. Also, Union Pacific (UP) earns 2023 Toyota Logistics Services awards.

CN 

The Canadian Press on May 13 reported that the Federal Appeal Court has issued a stay, allowing CN to continue work on the Milton intermodal terminal pending its “decision on an appeal of a lower court ruling that halted construction” earlier this year.

“Federal Appeal Court Justice George Locke said that while a halt to work on the undertaking would have no effect on CN’s long-term viability, any delay is ‘detrimental to the public interest,’” according to the Canadian national news agency headquartered in Toronto. “‘The harmful effects of construction emissions appear to be outweighed by the costs to CN of suspending its construction activities, and more importantly, the public interest in the completion of the project,’ the judge wrote earlier this month. Final word on whether work can proceed will rest on a later ruling from the Federal Court of Appeal.”

The C$250 million terminal was initially approved Jan. 21, 2021, and that decision set out 325 conditions for acceptance and approval by Federal Parliamentary Cabinet, which would make it the most stringently regulated intermodal logistics hub in Canada.

The facility—including a rail yard with more than 12 miles of track—would be built in “a provincially designated significant employment zone,” on 400 of the 1,000 acres of land owned by CN east of Tremaine Road and south of Britannia Road in Milton, and adjacent to CN’s Halton Subdivision.

According to the Class I railroad, major project components include an administration building, maintenance garage for terminal equipment and areas for short-term container storage; realignment and extension of the existing main line; a 1.7-kilometer (1-mile) truck entrance road and queuing area on CN property; an employee entrance off Tremaine Road; an underpass at Lower Base Line “to maintain traffic flow and facilitate east-west passage for all vehicles including emergency vehicles”; berms and barriers in strategic locations, planted with native Ontario vegetation “to blend with the surrounding environment and reduce off-site noise and visual effects”; and a stormwater management system “designed to capture and treat all terminal water runoff.”

Almost immediately after the 2021 decision, CN began preparatory work: demolishing structures, extending and relocating tracks, building on-site infrastructure, and grade separating a local roadway. “Expected to open by September 2026, according to a CN March 2023 construction schedule, the [March 1, 2024] Canadian Federal Court decision effectively rejects the Federal Cabinet’s approval of the project and sends it back to the federal government for re-evaluation,” Stephen C. Host reported March 4, 2024, for Railway Age. “Key to the decision was the ‘direct adverse environmental effects on health’ that were found to not be considered by the Federal Cabinet, plus the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in the January 2021 approval failed to make public any documents, justification or reasons related to the direct adverse environmental effects.”

CN on March 4, 2024, released the following statement: “While still reviewing a federal court’s decision related to the Milton Logistics Hub, CN is reiterating its commitment to the Milton Logistics Hub. The project is a critical piece of infrastructure in Canada’s busiest and fastest growing region, where new capacity is needed to meet the growing demand for goods. The Milton Logistics Hub will not only benefit Ontario, but further strengthen the Canadian economy and its strategic advantages. Authorization to build the project was subject to Canada’s most extensive environmental review process resulting in an approval including 325 conditions designed to protect both the community and the environment.” The railroad noted that the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area “is one of Canada’s fastest growing regions and the Milton Logistics Hub is critical to handle the growing demand for household goods, consumer products, and other necessities of day-to-day life.”

UP

(UP Image)

Toyota Logistics Services recently recognized UP with its 2023 Toyota Logistics Excellence Award in Customer Service, the Kaizen Excellence Award for continuous improvement, and the overall President’s Award, the Class I railroad reported May 13 via LinkedIn.

Toyota Logistics Services “measures outstanding performance of all logistics suppliers, including truck, marine and railroad companies,” according to UP, which ships Toyota vehicles and auto parts throughout North America.

In a related development, the automotive transload facilities operated by CSX Total Distribution Services Inc. (TDSI) earned high marks on two recent Destination Quality Reviews conducted by the Association of American Railroads.

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