Canadian National Railway challenges federal regulators over tr...

The Canadian National Railway challenged the authority of federal regulators to make the railroad pay an estimated $70 million for two overpasses, in Aurora and in Lynwood. Full Story
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Ken in Aurora

Aurora, IL

#1 Feb 24, 2009
I don't blame CN - the amount they're being required to pay is far, far more than railroads have paid in the past and would set a dangerous new precedent nationwide.

Ogden in particular should have been bridged years ago, and it appears Aurora and the state are viewing CN as their sugar daddy to make up for their poor planning and management.
I want an overpass too

Glen Ellyn, IL

#2 Feb 24, 2009
I want an overpass too. Hey poor management by rail managers to have such long trains should also not affect the multiple communities who will not have the ability to get to First Responder emergencies! I can easily see how the economy will see bank robbers use the train routes to their advantage. Then we all have to bail out the FDIC insurance paid out to those banks who lost money in the robbery. How many people will die in an ambulance waiting for a train? How much fuel will be lost waiting for the train to pass as they idle? Ken you can pay the way, right?
SteveinAurora

Sioux Falls, SD

#3 Feb 24, 2009
If CN didnt like the deal that was presented by the Surface Transportation Board, they could have walked away from the deal. It does not seem like they have negotiated this agreement in good faith at all. They have wanted to do nothing since they started the discussions. I dont think that they understand why people are so upset by their proposal either...
Dan Rakow

Glen Ellyn, IL

#4 Feb 24, 2009
Money And Profit Worshipers Canadian National should pay for EVERY project no matter if it in Aurora,Lynwood or West Chicago where i live and speaking of West Chicago they MUST act on CN Rail Deal and West Chicago really NEEDS Three Underpasses Two for all purpose Traffic on Washington St. and Forest Ave that will require an extenison betwwen Joliet St. and Pearl Rd. and a Pedestrian Underpass on George St. which would make perfect for Students coming In and Out of West Chicago Community High School.

Since: Nov 07

Detroit, MI

#5 Feb 24, 2009
Why should CN be singled out to pay over 70% when other railroads normally pay 5-10%. If this goes to court, the STB will lose. This whole thing was part of a planned strategy by the CN's excellent law team to get the deal through, and then take advantage of the very obvious gaffe by the STB. If I didn't know better, I'd say that this whole scenario had been planned all along.
It will easily be demonstrated that the STB caved into the bunch of whiners in the burbs on the overpass issue. If the suburbs had actually planned for the future instead of allowing rampant growth with way too many zoning variences to commercial builders over the years, the overpasses would have been in place years ago.
Stick It To Em

AOL

#6 Feb 24, 2009
Skuhcrew CN.
If they don't like the terms - let 'em get out of the US market. Heck, we should charge 'em for NAFTA. Why do you suppose that 80% of the population of Canada live within 100 miles of the American border -'eh?'
We should tax every locomotive, railcar and container coming down from Canada -'eh?'
They don't call 'em "looney's" for noth'n.
JBChitown

Portage, IN

#7 Feb 24, 2009
Unbelievable. Now CN wants to squirm out of the obligations the STB placed on them??? I'll contend that the EIS is too short sighted and needs to be reviewed for ADDITIONAL mitigation measures. And CN wants out of the ones already placed on them...unreal. Yeah, these are the continued actions of a company that claims to be 'a good neighbor' to the towns the EJ&E passes through. Laughable.
sharecropper

Batavia, IL

#8 Feb 24, 2009
Everybody is still fighting the issue. The answer is to have Aurora make a deposit of the upfront money, 30% of the cost and then let CN go from there. Also, let Aurora stop with their own court challenge as well. Personally, the need for an overpass is a joke in the first place. Aurora built itself around the railroad and should be responsible for the entire cost as they created the problem.
Not buying it

Arlington Heights, IL

#9 Feb 24, 2009
...and all those "NIMBYs" were ridiculed when they claimed CN wasn't negotiating in good faith.
JBChitown

Portage, IN

#10 Feb 24, 2009
And the CN slime trail continues...
W-T-F

Highland Park, IL

#11 Feb 24, 2009
"That is more than half the $300 million it is paying for the EJ&E, the railroad said in a statement. "

CN, what's your point, you obviously underpaid for the EJ&E. Now you don't want to pay for the simple fix up?

It's a deal anyway you look at it.

Don't like it?, walk away.

Maybe a cool Billion $$$ would have been a better price, have to the communities and half to the former owners.
Charlie Wilson

Springfield, IL

#12 Feb 24, 2009
railham the rail companies that pay 5-10% dont cause the types of problems that the CN will. Their trains are 1-2 miles long and travel very slowly. They block streets for periods of time that can reach 20 minutes--imagine an ambulance or fire truck having to reroute around these things it is not safe and not fair to all the citizens who settled these cities and towns.
Not a Railroader

Omaha, NE

#13 Feb 24, 2009
Historically the courts and regulators have found that the primary benefit of over/underpasses is not the railroads, it is the public highways and streets that receive the primary benefit. Because of this they are usually only required to pay 5-10% of the cost. In some states it's even set at a rate like that by the law.

This actually sets a very dangerous precedent. It could throttle future efforts to improve the transportation system in this country. Railroads, which are a very highly capital intensive industry, are not going to want to expose themselves to such huge liability if this ruling becomes a precedent. That could cause the slow decay and decline of our railroad infrastructure, which will lead to more freight on the roads and bankrupt railroads. Both of those will cost the taxpayers untold billions of dollars. First, because more highway construction will be needed to expand and repair the highways to accommodate the additional traffic. Second, because the government will end up taking over the railroads.

Who can tell me one government corporation that is well run and does not need to be subsidized by the taxpayers? Europe subsidizes its rail network to the tune of several billion Euros a year. While their passenger system is pretty good, there freight rail system is horrible. They have actually been looking at the US railroad system to see how to run an efficient, profitable, freight rail system. Another thing to consider in the area of passenger service, the distances in Europe are very small compared to the US. This makes travel times of trains very competitive with those of airlines.
JBChitown

Portage, IN

#14 Feb 24, 2009
Not a Railroader wrote:
Historically the courts and regulators have found that the primary benefit of over/underpasses is not the railroads, it is the public highways and streets that receive the primary benefit. Because of this they are usually only required to pay 5-10% of the cost. In some states it's even set at a rate like that by the law.
'Historically'...ha...change is a comin'!! The overpasses/underpasses wouldn't be needed in the first place if CN didn't intend to increase the rail traffic on the line. CN stands to make a pretty penny from the use of the EJ&E line. Tell me, what were CN's pofits last year? And you talk about bk'ing the rail lines by setting a MUCH NEEDED precedent! ROFL.
Not a Railroader

Omaha, NE

#15 Feb 24, 2009
JBChitown wrote:
<quoted text>
'Historically'...ha...change is a comin'!! The overpasses/underpasses wouldn't be needed in the first place if CN didn't intend to increase the rail traffic on the line. CN stands to make a pretty penny from the use of the EJ&E line. Tell me, what were CN's pofits last year? And you talk about bk'ing the rail lines by setting a MUCH NEEDED precedent! ROFL.
JBChitown,
Is the STB above the law? Are they allowed to rule on things according to their own whim or should they be required to follow the laws that are enforce?
The reason that I ask this is that Federal law limits the amount that railroads are required to pay for grade separation projects. Federal law,[23 USC § 130(b)] limits the amount that railroads pay for highway/rail grade separations in an amount equal to their direct benefit from the project, but not to exceed 10% of the cost. Federal regulation [23 CFR § 646 210] further limits the railroads share to no more than 5% of the cost.
That is the law of the land. If we disregard the law in one case because it is someone that we don't like, then we open ourselves up to the same abuse by the government. Pastor Martin Neimoller said,
Martin Neimoller wrote:
<quoted text>
In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then ... they came for me ... And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
It doesn't matter if you or I like a person/company or hate them. What matters is that the laws are always applied as they are written. If you think that the problem is with the law, then you are free to try to change it. But the law should always apply equally to all, otherwise we risk tyranny.
I might hate a man, but if that man is having his rights trampled then I should come to his defense, if for no other reason (and there are lots of better ones) than the fact that I might be the next one targeted.
My GGGeneration

Addison, IL

#16 Feb 24, 2009
Stick It To Em wrote:
Skuhcrew CN.
If they don't like the terms - let 'em get out of the US market. Heck, we should charge 'em for NAFTA. Why do you suppose that 80% of the population of Canada live within 100 miles of the American border -'eh?'
We should tax every locomotive, railcar and container coming down from Canada -'eh?'
They don't call 'em "looney's" for noth'n.
Are you on dope? Let me guess... you've never read a single post on this topic have you? Oh, never mind.

FYI, Canada is our largest trade partner by far. Why in the world does what you wrote make even the slightest bit of sense, especially considering the CN is traded on the NYSE and employs 1000's of Americans throughout the country.

If we did what you suggest, the net result is we would end up paying more for merchandise, and shippers here would be at a competitive disadvantage. Great plan.
My GGGeneration

Addison, IL

#17 Feb 24, 2009
Charlie Wilson wrote:
railham the rail companies that pay 5-10% dont cause the types of problems that the CN will. Their trains are 1-2 miles long and travel very slowly. They block streets for periods of time that can reach 20 minutes--imagine an ambulance or fire truck having to reroute around these things it is not safe and not fair to all the citizens who settled these cities and towns.
Your fears are ridiculous, unfounded, and have been studied at great length. What you want to do is change the rules in the middle of the game... how is that fair? Think it'll hold up in court? No way.
JBChitown

Portage, IN

#18 Feb 24, 2009
Not a Railroader wrote:
<quoted text>
Federal law,[23 USC § 130(b)] limits the amount that railroads pay for highway/rail grade separations in an amount equal to their direct benefit from the project, but not to exceed 10% of the cost. Federal regulation [23 CFR § 646 210] further limits the railroads share to no more than 5% of the cost.
That is the law of the land. If we disregard the law in one case because it is someone that we don't like, then we open ourselves up to the same abuse by the government.
So Not, this is really kind of a funny post from you, I would have expected something better than this. You're actually trying to tell me that in every instance...every instance...in the past that the railroads have not been required by the STB to pay more than the above stated amounts? Really? Care to elaborate? Because if they have been required to pay more (even once) in the past your entire argument of precedence and 'abuse by the government' goes right out the window.
Alt

Indianapolis, IN

#19 Feb 24, 2009
JBChitown wrote:
<quoted text>
'Historically'...ha...change is a comin'!! The overpasses/underpasses wouldn't be needed in the first place if CN didn't intend to increase the rail traffic on the line. CN stands to make a pretty penny from the use of the EJ&E line. Tell me, what were CN's pofits last year? And you talk about bk'ing the rail lines by setting a MUCH NEEDED precedent! ROFL.
CN profits were close to C$2 billion in 2008 but they expect US taxpayers to help them make more money.
The marriage of government and corporate interests = fascism
You got owned

Rockford, IL

#20 Feb 24, 2009
Face it, you got owned by a smarmy canadian railroad, pathetic. To all the people who support and defend this tripe, I hope one of your family members dies in an ambulance that is stalled by these trains.

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