CN and Norfolk Southern announce routing protocol to streamline interchange traffic

CN and Norfolk Southern Railway recently announced a structured routing protocol to streamline their exchange of rail traffic at major gateways.

Under their latest agreement—the product of a comprehensive examination of all inter-line traffic and service schedules—CN and Norfolk Southern will direct rail traffic through the most efficient interchange locations. The objective is to improve network capacity, transit times and asset utilization for through rail car movements. The agreement will be implemented over the next three months.

James Foote, CN’s executive vice-president, sales and marketing, said, “This agreement will improve our interline coordination and equipment cycles and focus our organizations on improving the service product that we offer to our joint customers.’

Donald Seale, Norfolk Southern’s executive vice president, sales and marketing, said, “With the demand for freight rail service increasing at historic levels throughout North America, this is a creative way of expanding network capacity and enhancing the service options available to our joint customers.”

The major interchange points for traffic moving between CN and NSR are Rouses Point and Buffalo, NY, Detroit, Toledo, Ohio, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, and Mobile, AL.

The routing protocol will result in a number of changes:

o Traffic between the Louisiana gulf and the Northeast United States will be interchanged directly at New Orleans or Memphis, benefiting from a more direct route and fewer intermediate handlings;

o Western Canada traffic to and from the South-Central US will be interchanged at Memphis, avoiding the congestion and additional handling in Chicago.

o The parties will expand the use of the new Rouses Point gateway agreement announced in November 2004 to further handle traffic between Eastern Canada and the southeastern US.