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Canadian Railroads > CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service


Date: 05/22/20 11:25
CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: Lackawanna484

About 260 km (150 miles?),intended to reduce truck traffic into Halifax

https://www.cn.ca/en/news/2020/05/cn-announces-new-intermodal-rail-service-between-moncton-and-hal/



Date: 05/22/20 14:04
Re: CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: PRR_4859

With the PSR craze of the other North American roads, it seems like CN is the only one that is willing to think "outside the box" and go after new types of business like short haul intermodal. Good for them. I think they are the best of any railroad today.



Date: 05/22/20 14:53
Re: CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: alco244

outside the box, kicking HH's legacy to the trash heap, if the railroads want to survive, they will have to work for it, sitting back, screwing over customers, limited days of service, hefty acessorial charges, take or leave attitude, they are sitting on a tree limb and sawing it off behind themselves, trucks will eat their lunch, customers, what are left, have long memories, i believe it will be a while, intermodial from overseas as we know it may take a while to return, customers buying habits may change due to this virus, meanwhile domestic shippers, carload and intermodial are still here



Date: 05/22/20 19:38
Re: CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: cn6218

PRR_4859 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With the PSR craze of the other North American
> roads, it seems like CN is the only one that is
> willing to think "outside the box" and go after
> new types of business like short haul intermodal.
> Good for them. I think they are the best of any
> railroad today.

I wouldn't be quite so enthusiastic, but maybe I'm more jaded than you are.

I'll bet this will not mean there is a new train between Halifax and Moncton, CN will merely put boxes on 121 each night and take them off at Moncton, and put others on 120 at Moncton each monring that will wind up in Halifax.  They've already eliminated trains 407/408 between Moncton and Dartmouth, and lump the traffic in with 120/121.  That adds at least an hour of switching at this end, and likely half that much in Moncton (since they are already combining traffic from 120 and 306 there).  407/408 used to make setoffs/pick ups in Truro too for local raffic there and from the CBNS, but that is now being served one day a week by a new 404/405 train.  It was supposed to be 3 days a week, but since Moncton laid off so many crews recently (as did Halifax), they can't run it on the same days as 406 to Saint John, so the traffic just piles up in Truro.

This also seems like an odd time to be announcing this.  Fuel costs are the lowest they've been in years, highways are practically empty, and demand is likely down as well.  The only thing CN can compete on is price.  They certainly aren't any faster than road.  The other day when I was driving to Londonderry to intercept 120, I started seeing 53 ft. intermodal boxes going the other way on the highway.  These would have come off 120 earlier that morning and were already on the road heading to points east of Truro.  It was almost another hour before I saw the train on its last leg to Halifax.  

This might wind up like the New England Clipper, an intermodal service that was to run once a week between Halifax and Ayer, MA over CN, NBSR and Guilford.  CN committed to run the train on Tuesdays (in the time slot the Ocean would have used) to Saint John as long as there were 20 boxes to make it worthwhile.  I think that train 185 only ran a handful of times, with a single GP40-2L and spine cars.  Guilford did not, and still does not, have clearance for double-stacks.

I wish them well, but I wouldn't bet any money on it.

GTD



Date: 05/22/20 19:39
Re: CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: rob_l

PRR_4859 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With the PSR craze of the other North American
> roads, it seems like CN is the only one that is
> willing to think "outside the box" and go after
> new types of business like short haul intermodal.
> Good for them. I think they are the best of any
> railroad today.

Short-haul intermodal will never be a huge money-maker but it can be compensatory when somebody else helps out with the lifts. In this case, the steamship lines pay for the origin lift.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 05/22/20 22:17
Re: CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: PRR_4859

While I very much agree that CN is not perfect, it still seems they are looking for new business, unlike other lines in North America. They continue to add capacity in places where it is needed as well. My only point is that it is good to see a railroad actually trying to grow the business where they can.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/20 06:05 by PRR_4859.



Date: 05/23/20 05:54
Re: CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: Lackawanna484

In another thread, there was a mention of some drivers waiting hours for a drop or pickup at some ports.

If this trans-load works, the loads move, and drivers can drive, that's a good thing.

Posted from Android



Date: 05/23/20 08:42
Re: CN announces Moncton to Halifax intermodal service
Author: cn6218

On second read, it appears that this service is intended to capture traffic from Moncton that is going on-board ships in Halifax.  That gets trucks out of downtown Halifax, which is a far greater concern than trucks on the highway.  Although I did scan through the article, I took "intermodal" to mean "53 ft. boxes", which this appears not to be.  There was an announcement last year that the feds would provide funding to re-install the second track in the cut to downtown Halifax (that CN removed in 2001) so that more containers could move from there to a transload facility at Fairview Cove rather than traveling on narrow downtown streets..

Speaking of 53 ft. boxes, I noticed a number of 53 ft. Oceanex boxes come in on 120 the other day.  These would likely go on the once a week service to St. John's, NL from PSA (formerly Halterm) in downtown Halifax.  Oceanex had been operating a ship directly from Montreal to Newfoundland, but that service has been under-utilized, and sending the boxes to Halifax by rail, may be a way of replacing it.

GTD



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