February 14, 2001 The federal Surface Transportation Board directed Canadian National to come before the Board and explain the significant differences between information on street-crossing blockages in the Chicago area that the railroad has provided to the Board and the results of an independent audit conducted by the Board.
Canadian National to report every street-crossing blockage of 10 minutes or
more as a condition of its 2008 acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern
Railway Company. In its November and December 2009 monthly reports, the
railroad reported a total of 14 blockages caused by stopped trains. But an
independent audit on behalf of the Board by its third-party consultant, HDR
Inc., found 1,457 instances during that same period of crossings blocked for 10
minutes or more by stopped or slowly moving trains.
The Board today
directed Canadian National and HDR to appear at a hearing in Washington on
April 28 to explain why Canadian National’s submissions to the Board on
crossing blockages of 10 minutes or more differ from data automatically
reported by its own crossing gates and why the railroad did not disclose that
it had such information. The Board also ordered the railroad to include all street-crossing
blockages of 10 minutes or more, whether as a result of stopped trains or
slow-moving trains, in its reports. The Board also directed the railroad to supplement
any previous reports that omit data for lengthy delays caused by slow-moving
As part of the
merger approval decision, the Board established numerous environmental and
other conditions, including a five-year monitoring and oversight period and the
establishment of a Web site, www.stbfinancedocket35087.com, to inform the
public on oversight matters.
tasked HDR to audit Canadian National’s compliance efforts after numerous
complaints by community and elected leaders. The Board also sent questionnaires
to the affected communities to solicit comments about concerns about the railroad’s
operations and compliance.