Passengers face delays as profitable freight traffic increases on CN-owned tracks

April 30, 2016

By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press

Via Rail slashed service in some parts of Southwestern Ontario and beyond because federal governments stood idle as CN Rail imposed exorbitant fees for using its tracks, a leading rail expert says.Website Insert Development Finance and Management copy

“I don’t even blame CN. If you have a goose ripe for plucking, in the business world you pluck it,” said Greg Gorrmick, whose clients have included CN and CP, Via and General Motors’ former locomotive-making business in London.

Asked by about his concerns, CN dismissed them but refused to disclose how much it charges taxpayer-subsidized Via.

“CN rejects the unsubstantiated allegation that CN is charging Via Rail excessive track access fees,” company spokesperson Mark Hallman wrote.

Via’s operations have been thrust under a spotlight amid a push by the rail-passenger service for a track of its own for conventional trains, a move some critics have interpreted as a move to fend off a provincial proposal to link Southwestern Ontario to Toronto by high-speed rail.

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