Status of the Railroad - A Message from Kenny Rocker, EVP, Marketing & Sales

Announcement Number: CN2021-55
Categories: General Announcements
Posted Date: August 30, 2021

To Our Customers,

Yesterday, Hurricane Ida made landfall along the Louisiana coast. Our thoughts are with our customers and employees who were in the path of the storm. We hope you and your families are safe and are able to recover quickly from the impacts.

Hurricane Ida Actions
This morning our Engineering forces were able to begin safely assessing track conditions. Fortunately, much of our network is expected to be open later today.

The area east of Livonia to New Orleans incurred the greatest storm impact, requiring additional clean-up time and closer inspection. In an effort to restore service as soon as possible, we have enlisted private contractors to assist with removing downed power lines and other debris from our tracks. We are also placing generators in areas that have lost commercial power.

We will continue to provide further updates as we learn more and work to reopen our lines in eastern Louisiana.

Adding Resources to Improve Network Speed
Earlier this month, our Dry Canyon Bridge – north of Redding, California – reopened for business after being significantly damaged by forest fires in late June. I’m grateful to our Operating and Engineering teams who worked around the clock to rebuild the bridge and restore service nearly one month ahead of the original estimate.

We appreciate your patience as we work through lingering impacts from the bridge outage and other major service interruptions we faced over the summer. We expect to see improved resource availability over the next several weeks as we take specific actions within our control to help speed up the network. Some of those include:

  • Recalling crews from furlough, repositioning crews and hiring new train employees
  • Returning locomotives out of long-term storage
  • Increasing efficiency of our local service to provide timely first- and last-mile service

We are already starting to see improvement in our car velocity, as our current seven-day average has improved by seven miles per day (up 4%) from two weeks ago. We believe the actions we are taking will ensure that we have the appropriate resources in place to support the strong demand we’re seeing in the marketplace. Our Commercial team will continue to work closely with you to understand your forecasts in order to best support your business. As our economy continues to recover, I’m excited about all of the opportunities we have to help you grow.

Thank You for Your Business
We truly appreciate your business and patience as we recover from the events of this past summer and the current impacts of Hurricane Ida. We will continue to be diligent in our efforts to improve network performance and provide the level of service you expect.

I hope you and your families are able to enjoy the upcoming Labor Day holiday. I wish all of you a safe weekend, but especially those in the areas affected by Ida.

Original | Kenny Rocker Signature
Kenny Rocker
Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales