Three year venture ends: Dedicated intermodal service can't match second-day service
of competitors in U.S. corridor.
Northeast U.S. Intermodal Service
Ian La Couvee - C&PA
Ameriport: Service to the intermodal terminal in Philadelphia is still
Minneapolis Minnesota USA - Mounting losses on its intermodal operations in the corridor
between Chicago and the U.S. Northeast have forced CP Rail System to discontinue the service, the railway announced recently.
Citing insufficient volumes, unsustainable losses, and stiff competition, CPRS has informed customers its daily intermodal runs between
Chicago and five terminals in the U.S. Northeast will come to an end on 29 Feb 1996.
The intermodal service ran daily as Trains 261 and 262 between Bensenville, Illinois, (just outside Chicago), and terminals at Albany,
New York, Oak Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Taylor Pennsylvania, and Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
CPRS will no longer serve those intermodal terminals, with the exception of Oak Island and Philadelphia's Ameriport, where the railway
believes it can continue to offer cost-effective intermodal service.
At those two terminals, CPRS will continue to serve a number of intermodal options, including: traffic to and from Canada, traffic
interchanging with Norfolk Southern at Buffalo, New York, import/export containers at Potomac Yard in Virginia, and traffic interchanging
with CSX at Philadelphia and Park Junction.
Currently, however, all rail service to Oak Island is under embargo due to recent washouts of the Conrail-owned track leading to the
terminal. It hasn't been determined when the embargo will be lifted, as Conrail has yet to reopen the line.
While CPRS will no longer provide intermodal service between Midwest and northeastern U.S. terminals, it will continue to handle carload
traffic throughout the region.
As well, CPRS will continue to move intermodal traffic between the midwestern U.S. and Canada, as far east as Montreal and as far west as
CPRS launched dedicated intermodal service between Chicago and the Northeast U.S. in 1992, but hasn't been able to match its competitors'
second-day service in the corridor, which is dominated b carriers long established in the area.
CPRS's primary competitors in the market are Conrail, which for many years has been operating on a faster, more direct route to and from
the Northeast, and the trucking industry, which is served by a number of principal highways in and out of Chicago, a large and vital U.S.
As a result of its competitors' transit time advantages and lower operating costs, CPRS's three-year venture in the corridor has produced
insufficient traffic volumes, escalating costs, and ultimately, unsustainable financial losses.
In a notice to customers, the railway said it now will concentrate its efforts on the balance of its North American intermodal