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CN Rail Grain Movement Back To Pre-Strike Pace

Last week, CN Rail reported they're back on track with Canadian grain movement after the eight day strike at the end of November.
Over 3,000 rail company employees went on strike Tuesday, November 19 after the rail company failed to reach a deal with their union.
The union announced the following week on Tuesday, November 26 it reached a tentative agreement with CN Rail to renew the collective agreement for the employees.
CN Rail Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer, Sean Finn, says they returned to pre-strike pace quicker than they thought, attributing the recovery to the hard work of their employees and their $7.4 billion investment over the last few years.
"Eight days of slow down of our network to below 10 per cent [operating] levels, if we can turn around this quickly, it's because we have that capacity and resilience to do so. Weather was on our side, but it does show that those investments in capital, in locomotives and in track have allowed us to recover a lot quicker."
Finn says the secret has been to create lots of fluidity in the network while not creating congestion in their yards.
He says they projected to have movement back on track about three weeks after the strike as they didn't want to over promise, but they came close to doing it in two.
"We were working very hard with our grain customers to be there to both load the grain in the prairies and get it both Thunder Bay still and Vancouver, but also important to getting empties back to the prairies to be reloaded."
The rail company said in a statement last week, they spotted 6,800 hopper cars per week during the first two weeks of November before the strike, despite a slow start to the crop year due to adverse weather.
CN Rail points to this as the high point of the crop year, but says the strike prevented the rail company from accepting any new orders as they were only operating at about 10 per cent of overall capacity during the strike.
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