CN Rail says March is improving from the start of the year when cold weather caused volumes to decrease and costs to rise. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

CN Rail beginning to recover in March from weak start to year, says interim CEO

NEW YORK — The interim CEO of Canadian National Railway Co. says the railroad is beginning to recover from one of its worst Februarys on record.

Jean-Jacques Ruest told an investor conference Wednesday that its performance in March is improving from the start of the year when cold weather caused volumes to decrease and costs to rise.

He says train speeds are rising and revenue miles have started to turn positive, which will improve customer satisfaction.

The company has apologized for failing to keep grain shipments moving reliably by rail, and said it’s mobilizing more train cars and workers to clear the backlog.

Ruest says revenue growth in March won’t be enough to offset weakness in January and February, but the railway is heading in the right direction.

The Montreal-based railway hasn’t changed its guidance for the year because Ruest says there is still time to catch up.

It has ordered new locomotives and will have an extra 130 leased units within weeks.

It is also hiring 2,000 workers, including hundreds of conductors.

Ruest says that by the fourth quarter, CN should be back to where it was 12 to 18 months ago.

Ruest was appointed earlier this month to take over from Luc Jobin, who was dismissed after about two years as CEO.

The 23-year veteran CN Rail executive says the company’s board plans to take its time conducting a global search from within the rail industry and beyond to lead the country’s largest railway.

The successful candidate will create more energy in the company and have a sense of urgency to deliver on its long-term strategy.

Just Posted

Central Alberta school divisions to support rural students through agreement

Wolf Creek to bring Enhanced Learning Model courses to Clearview schools

WATCH: Red Deer Catholic students re-envision a local wetland for school project

Father Henri Voisin Grade 3 teacher introduces ‘real-life’-based education

Manslaughter charge stayed against Maskwacis man

Man was accused of manslaughter in connection with the death of his mother in 2015

Red Deer Mounties make numerous arrests over the past two weeks

Over the past two weeks, Red Deer RCMP have made a number… Continue reading

Leslieville Elks’ new hall rising from the ashes

Leslieville Elks Lodge grateful for outpouring of support

WATCH: Red Deer Catholic students re-envision a local wetland for school project

Father Henri Voisin Grade 3 teacher introduces ‘real-life’-based education

Charges dropped against Alberta property owner in rural shooting

OKOTOKS, Alta. — All charges have been dropped against a man accused… Continue reading

China blocks John Oliver on social media after scathing show

BEIJING — A popular Chinese social media site is censoring discussion of… Continue reading

Most Red Deer Advocate readers would call police when witnessing a crime

An overwhelming number of Advocate readers would call the police if they… Continue reading

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES — The fall television season is months away but that’s… Continue reading

BlackBerry Q1 revenue, adjusted earnings beat estimates but stock falls

TORONTO — BlackBerry Ltd. shares sank almost 10 per cent to their… Continue reading

OPEC countries to pump more oil to contain price increase

VIENNA — The countries of the OPEC cartel agreed on Friday to… Continue reading

Man sentenced for Edson triple murder

EDMONTON — An Alberta man who fatally shot three people has been… Continue reading

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

VANCOUVER — A Vancouver man who sold bottles of “Hot Dog Water”… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month