September 10, 2019 4:45 PM, EDT

Canadian National Railway Acquires Canada, New York Line

Canadian National RailNorm Betts/Bloomberg News

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Canadian National Railway will take over about 220 miles of railroad throughout Canada and Upstate New York in a deal that could affect about 60 positions.

Known as the Massena Line, the track runs through that area of St. Lawrence County, N.Y., to draw a connection between Beauharnois in Quebec to Liverpool, N.Y.

CN penned the deal with former line operator CSX Corp., but the terms of the acquisition have yet to be released.

“This decision is part of CSX’s broader initiative to generate value from noncore assets,” a CSX release says. “An estimated 60 employees will be impacted by the transaction and we are working with them to provide support throughout the transition.

“We are confident in the ability of Canadian National to provide safe and effective service for our valued customers on the Massena Line.”

Canadian National Rail

Brent Lewin/Bloomberg News

Canadian National Railway transports over C$250 billion worth of goods, annually.

The rail network stretches an approximate 20,000 miles of Canada and mid-America, and, with help from railway subsidiaries, has connections to various points of North America.

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said the Canadian National ownership will connect the North Country to one of Canada’s two major rail networks, bringing future power and opportunity.

“With the region’s other major north-south railway from Montreal to New York City owned by Canadian Pacific, we have amazingly strategic, side-by-side rail corridors supporting binational trade and movement,” Douglas said in a statement.

By the second week of October, CSX will have discontinued its rail lines at the Valleyfield Intermodal Terminal in Quebec.

That includes any remaining domestic and international service there, a CSX release says.

“CSX is working closely with customers and truck drayage partners to ensure a smooth service transition,” the release says.

“The new CN interline service offers an improved service solution for intermodal customers in the Montreal region while meeting CSX’s objectives for increased network efficiency.”

CEO JJ Ruest was excited to expand Canadian National into New York.

“With this acquisition from CSX, we are opening up new opportunities for our existing customers and local businesses who will be able to access new markets through CN’s unique three coasts network,” Ruest says in a statement.

“CN is pleased to welcome communities along the Massena rail line to its family and we look forward to meeting our new neighbors.”

Douglas said Canadian National has long been a partner in North Country efforts to build cross-border commerce and investment.

“Even when it didn’t involve their operations,” he said. “They will be an even stronger contributing partner now that they will be directly invested in the North Country and its future.

“We thank them for their confidence and vision in making this historic acquisition.”

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