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CN launches second Halifax daily service in anticipation of rising volumes

Canadian National Railway has launched a second daily doublestack train service connecting Halifax to Toronto, Montreal and the US Midwest amid container growth expectations.

The service capable of hauling 250 TEU connects Halifax to Montreal within 26 hours, Toronto in 35 hours, Chicago in 56 hours, and Detroit in 59 hours.

“Working with our partner PSA, this additional service supports shippers on the East Coast including the Port of Halifax, the only port on the East Coast that accommodates ultra-class vessels, and takes advantage of CN’s uncongested high-speed network from the East Coast to Montreal, Toronto and the U.S. Midwest,” said Doug MacDonald, CN Chief Marketing Officer, in a LinkedIn post indicating the Halifax service was selling out daily.

 “A second train plan was needed to split the workload and dramatically lowers time to market,” he wrote. “We simply want to get our goods to market as quickly as possible and added additional service on the East Coast. CN’s Eastern corridor has plenty of capacity to grow and add new trains. We believe that this new service with PSA will provide the best transit times from any East Coast port.”

The decision by CN comes despite a 9.5% first quarter decline in container cargo at 125,052 TEUs.

In this regard, port spokesman Lane Farguson remarked: “There are many factors driving the need for additional rail availability through Halifax . Cargo volume is one aspect. This includes the new services through Halifax over the past year and anticipated steady volume over the remainder of 2022.” (Port of Halifax photo)