Canadian National Fined $250K for Misreporting Crossing Delays

Dec 28, 2010 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Patch

A federal regulatory group imposed a $250,000 fine last week on Canadian National Railway, which runs trains through the Chicago suburbs, for not reporting about 1,400 delays it had at crossings.

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1 - 20 of 24 Comments Last updated Jan 26, 2011
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John Kristensen

Sherwood Park, Canada

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#1
Jan 1, 2011
 

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Just one more of many examples of CN violating railway laws, operating rules, guidelines and policies in the U.S. and Canada.
Sidewalk

Frankfort, IL

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#2
Jan 2, 2011
 

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This is the first of what is sure to be many fines for CN. If they want to continue to lie time and time again, they will get what is coming to them...
TPOB

Grand Junction, CO

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#3
Jan 2, 2011
 

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The RR's are run by crooks.
bob

Hartland, WI

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#4
Jan 2, 2011
 

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i live in fond du lac wi and the C N blocks crossing for 45 min to as much as 2 hrs

Since: Dec 09

Romeoville, IL

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#5
Jan 2, 2011
 

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So it averages about $ 178 per violation, each train is roughly $ 1,000,000 in revenue...oooohhhh they are really hurting them big time with those fines..LOL. Before you people stand up all proud pounding your chests, how much cash did those fines put in your gas tanks ? Or how much did your property taxes go down ? LOL LOL
Gramps

Lockport, IL

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#6
Jan 3, 2011
 
The railroad industry makes its money by moving freight, not be standing it still. CN is in the process of making multiple infrastructure improvements to the EJ&E in order to increase its capacity and minimize the delays that result in blocked at-grade crossings. Once the infrastructure work on the EJ&E is completed in 2012, CN's trains will be moving faster and the number of at-grade crossing blockages will decrease.
Sidewalk

Frankfort, IL

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#7
Jan 3, 2011
 

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Gramps wrote:
The railroad industry makes its money by moving freight, not be standing it still. CN is in the process of making multiple infrastructure improvements to the EJ&E in order to increase its capacity and minimize the delays that result in blocked at-grade crossings. Once the infrastructure work on the EJ&E is completed in 2012, CN's trains will be moving faster and the number of at-grade crossing blockages will decrease.
I'll believe when I see it Gramps...I don't trust CN at all to live up to what they have promised...
beagle

Vancouver, Canada

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#8
Jan 3, 2011
 

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Sidewalk wrote:
<quoted text>
I'll believe when I see it Gramps...I don't trust CN at all to live up to what they have promised...
Sidewalk

I think you are confused or posturing.

Why don't you explain what CN has "promised" vs what you "think" they have promised. The difference being merely the musings of a prevaricator.

beagle
Red

Chicago, IL

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Jan 3, 2011
 

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John Kristensen wrote:
Just one more of many examples of CN violating railway laws, operating rules, guidelines and policies in the U.S. and Canada.
and $250,000 is peanuts to these crooks !!
Sidewalk

Frankfort, IL

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#10
Jan 3, 2011
 

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beagle wrote:
<quoted text>
Sidewalk
I think you are confused or posturing.
Why don't you explain what CN has "promised" vs what you "think" they have promised. The difference being merely the musings of a prevaricator.
beagle
There you are Beagle! Knew it wouldn't take long for you to put down the train set and hop on line....get a nice new set for Christmas?
beagle

Vancouver, Canada

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#11
Jan 3, 2011
 

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Sidewalk wrote:
<quoted text>
There you are Beagle! Knew it wouldn't take long for you to put down the train set and hop on line....get a nice new set for Christmas?
There you go Sidewalk. No content, no insight, just regurgitate the same childish "humour". Trouble is, I'm not your enemy and name calling or deprecating comments only confirm your inability to present a rational position.

Here's a quote recently posted on the TRAC website. Any possibility you can do a critique?

"We have received hundreds of complaints from first responders and citizens who have been and continue to be negatively impacted by unnecessary delays due to Canadian National's negligence in maintaining a railway that has any level of regard for the tens of thousands of people forced to cross the EJ&E daily."

beagle
Red

Chicago, IL

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#12
Jan 6, 2011
 

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Beagle, I'd only wish that you had been stuck waiting for 2-3 hours waiting for a CN train to clear US14, Rte 59, Lake Cook Road on 10/15/10 but then you're in Vancouver so what the f do you care you CN stooge
Sick of the dog

Frankfort, IL

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#13
Jan 6, 2011
 

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Red wrote:
Beagle, I'd only wish that you had been stuck waiting for 2-3 hours waiting for a CN train to clear US14, Rte 59, Lake Cook Road on 10/15/10 but then you're in Vancouver so what the f do you care you CN stooge
Now we can all anxiously await Beagles witty response!
beagle

Vancouver, Canada

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#14
Jan 7, 2011
 

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Red wrote:
Beagle, I'd only wish that you had been stuck waiting for 2-3 hours waiting for a CN train to clear US14, Rte 59, Lake Cook Road on 10/15/10 but then you're in Vancouver so what the f do you care you CN stooge
Hey Red,
You were participating in these blogs ("Monster Trains...")back on March 23, 2009 when a link was posted to the unanimous decision made in 2001 by Barrington's Transportation Advisory Committee. They voted to reject both the State proposed and funded Hwy 59 Barrington bypass and the widening of Hough St through the Village of Barrington.
They restated and further reinforced that position in a statement made and again unanimously endorese by all (6) Village trustees in October, 2003.
On page 16 of Barrington's 2007 annual financial report:
"Per this committees recommendations, the Village President
and Board of Trustees drafted in 2002 a position statement calling for improvements to grading, signalization, and train gate coordination along Route 59 in order to improve traf&#64257;c flow. The statement-strongly opposed any widening of Route 59 or the pursuit of a bypass route. The sustainability of this position is yet to be determined."
Red,
Everyone except the (6) Barrington Trustees wanted the Hwy 59 bypass and railroad/vehicular grade separation that would have resulted.
Who did you vote for? Your Village Trustees rejected a State funded bypass and a street widening.
But, you knew this. It was discussed and the documentation was presented 21 months ago.
Red--are you a stooge for Karen Darch?
beagle
Not a Railroader

Omaha, NE

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#15
Jan 10, 2011
 

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beagle wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's a quote recently posted on the TRAC website. Any possibility you can do a critique?
"We have received hundreds of complaints from first responders and citizens who have been and continue to be negatively impacted by unnecessary delays due to Canadian National's negligence in maintaining a railway that has any level of regard for the tens of thousands of people forced to cross the EJ&E daily."
beagle
Beagle,

Since no one else has offered a critique, I will.

TRAC is once again engaging in overheated rhetoric.

Looking at the numbers submitted by HDR for the review (and the numbers submitted by CN since): From July - December 2007 (pre-CN) the EJ&E had an average of 2735.5 (10+ minutes) activations per month of Automated Crossing Warning Devices (ACWD). From May - December of 2008 (also pre-CN) the EJ&E had an average of 1189 ACWD activations per month.

Since CN took over the numbers are as follows: From February - December of 2009 an average of 937 ACWD activations (10+ minutes) per month. From January - November 2010 an average of 1427 ACWD activations per month.

These figures give me several reasons to say that TRAC is engaging in overheated rhetoric. 1) This is not a new problem with CN's control, the EJ&E had the same problem, with similar or even greater numbers of blockages that exceeded 10 minutes. So to me it looks like its a problem that they inherited, not one that they created. 2) If this is such a bad problem, where is TRAC's record of complaints against the EJ&E from before CN took over? According to these figures there should have been even more complaints back in 2007 when the average number of blockages was almost double what it was in 2010. 3) CN has been taking steps to improve the EJ&E to relieve these problems; Like building more double track, replacing hand thrown switches with power ones, putting in bypass tracks at the Joliet yard, etc. Of course I would love to hear about all of the improvements that the EJ&E made to relieve these problems prior to CN ownership.

If a person reads many of TRAC's constant complaint letters to the STB, one would either get the impression that all the problems happened suddenly when CN took over or that CN should have fixed all the problems on February 1st 2009 (the day that CN took over). What part of having a 3 year construction, improvement and integration schedule does TRAC not understand?
Not a Railroader

Omaha, NE

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Jan 10, 2011
 

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Oh, I forgot an interesting comment that TRAC made in its December 1st complaint letter to the STB about a blocked crossing incident in Barrington on October 15th.
TRAC December 1st letter wrote:

As important as our desire to know what the STB response to the underreporting [sic]... more important for the communities is how to avoid blocked crossings in the future. While Mr. Vena explained that these unfortunate incidents do occur, the ICC report explains that the one in Barrington was caused by the failure of a knuckle which had a 30 percent old break and casting flaws... WILL THE STB FOLLOW UP WITH A MORE STRINGENT EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE/CONDITION REQUIREMENT...
Emphasis added.

From this it seems that TRAC thinks that the STB should require CN to do more to maintain the cars. Yet if you read the ICC report attached to TRAC's letter you would note that the car that had the broken knuckle (coupler) had a reporting mark of "KMOX."

Now I may not know a lot about railroads, but I do know that the letters identify the company that owns the car and any car that has an reporting mark that ends in X is not owned by a railroad. I looked it up and could not find KMOX as a reporting mark, but I did find KNOX which belongs to Philip Metals Inc.

Now this brings me to my questions. Does TRAC understand that the car was not owned by CN? Does TRAC want the STB to require CN to inspect all cars when they receive them from other railroads or companies? Does TRAC think that the STB should require CN to overhaul all cars that they handle before allowing them unto the EJ&E? Finally, Does TRAC EVEN HAVE A CLUE about anything that deals with railroads?
beagle

Vancouver, Canada

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#17
Jan 10, 2011
 

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Sidewalk,Red---where did you go? I compared the 1990 vs 2009 US Census Bureau population stats for (6)Illinois counties that are affected by the EJ&E/CN deal. Just amazing, there on Will Counties website the Pres is trumpeting how fast their population base is growing--93% increase in population from 1990 to 2009--but, of course all that road congestion is because of a railroad. The population data:
----------1990----2009----+/-- -increase %Lake County-------516k----712k----1 96k---38%-----
McHenry County----183k----321k----138k ---75%-----
Kane County-------317k----512k----1 95k---62%-----
DuPage County-----781k----932k----151 k---19%-----
Kendall County----39k-----104k-----65k ---165%----
Will County-------357k----689k----3 32k---93%-----

Overall the population of these 6 counties increased from 2.2M in 1990 to 3.27M in 2009. A 48% increase.

And Barrington (1999 thru 2007), in a county with a 38% population increase refusing to let the Illinois State government improve the road infrastructure.

Red--it is not CN that has been "negligent" in maintaining a railroad. Your governments did not provide the road infrastructure to support the increase in population and their required mobility (commuting).

Red--do you have any better interpretation?

beagle
KAH

Prescott, AZ

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#18
Jan 10, 2011
 

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Regarding the blocked crossing, what was Red doing the 98 minutes the crossing's were cut open according to the new Holy Grail of the STB between the 55 min. broken knuckle replacement and 59 min. recombining and pumping up air that he could not cross. After all we are accusing CN of misrepresenting here.
Kind of a shame, the Remote Terminal Units (RTU)seemed like a good way to monitor crossing safety appliances, but you can bet the work orders have went out all over the country to junk these squealers quick. One thing they did establish.
Routes 30 and 34 are not the crossings needing grade separation especially at 40 million a pop.
Look at the new Kate Skelly UP built for 50 mil.
you could fly over Barrington based on it.
of course no Illinois politicians were involved.
Things that might help.
1. Distributed power, I can't believe they don't
what with the shoves at Munger and Matteson.
2. Set in 600 CFM air-compressors for pacing pickups so air could be pumped up, tested and bottled before recombining the train.
3. On declaration of an emergency, require and
train so any insured employee with a pair
of gloves and communications to the crew or
dispatcher can shut the angle cock request
slack and lift the pin.

My problem with the 250K fine is the Surf Board (STB) created a new standard (10 minutes any cause)
and then out of something like 500 railroads under
their jurisdiction. Selected and targeted CN alone.
All the while allowing Union Pacific and BNSF
operating over the very same track with their own crews and committing a large number of repeat alleged violations with complete impunity. In fact
the STB is the first barrier to re opening the pre-merger trackage agreements and getting UP & BNSF's attention.
Me think as Commissioner Nottingham alluded the old babe in the bathrobe and blindfold may just whack the STB a good one with her scales over this. Then send it, money off to (Wash)ington, sounds better than laundering I guess.

That was the crews excuse at Rockford, track
speed or be disciplined, common sense says a
locomotive would make a poor Jet-Ski. Some of
these rules that Bureaucrat makes up may not work
so good out in the boonies. An when they overrule
common sense and safety.

Things that might help.
1. CN-EJE (Rock Island) CSX-IAIS-Metra
Grade separate, would increase velocity over
whole EJ&E as rite of way, Drainage and
Utilities are pretty much nil it might be
done for 10 mill. based on CSX in Garret, IN.
Use some of the CRATE money CN saved downtown
or the 105 mill. earmarked for bridge 552.
The 2 or 3 customers will likely have folded
before its rebuilt anyhow and 5 mil. would
relay track south to Coal City again.
2. Signal and reclassify connection tracks at
H-yard, Eola and West Chicago from yard to
main allowing 25 to 30 MPH speeds.
More wheel greasers would help to.
Its a Mystery

Chicago, IL

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#19
Jan 14, 2011
 

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I'm betting I know who sick of the dog from Mokena is. Some people are pretty pissed because they didn't do their homework before buying a house along the rail lines.
Sick of the dog

Kearny, NJ

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#20
Jan 14, 2011
 

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Its a Mystery wrote:
I'm betting I know who sick of the dog from Mokena is. Some people are pretty pissed because they didn't do their homework before buying a house along the rail lines.
And you would be wrong...slappy

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