CHICAGO - Canadian National Railway and the Indiana Rail Road Company are launching a rail service between Indianapolis and ports in British Columbia to speed up the movement of containerized products to and from Asia.
A downtown intermodal terminal is under construction in the mid-western city and will start receiving rail cars in June. It will be complemented by a container yard and agricultural products export loading facility.
The Montreal-based railway (TSX:CNR) feeds into ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
"This all-rail service will reduce transit times and improve transportation consistency for Indiana importers, making their supply chains more competitive," stated chief marketing officer Jean-Jacques Ruest.
Indiana Rail president Tom Hoback said Indianapolis-area importers and exporters have for years asked for all-rail, direct-west coast intermodal service to the city to avoid the bottlenecks through Chicago.
He said the new intermodal service will offer "a more reliable, consistent and environmentally friendly movement of goods that is less susceptible to costly weather and congestion delays."
CN estimates the new service will allow containers from China and Korea to arrive in as little as 18 to 20 days from port loading.
Privately held Indiana Rail hauls the equivalent of more than 800,000 truckloads of consumer, industrial and energy products annually on its 800 kilometres of track.
CN operates across Canada and the United States, providing access to ports in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and Gulf of Mexico. It employs nearly 22,000 people and has 33,150 route-kilometres of track.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its shares gained 14 cents at $93.77 in midday trading Wednesday.
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