The federal government has levied a $250,000 fine against Canadian National charging the railroad company “knowingly violated” orders to report how additional traffic from the 2008 Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railroad Co. purchase affected certain crossings.
A third-party audit requested by the Suburban Transportation Board claims that from November to December 2009 CN failed to report 1,443 instances of crossing gates that were down for 10 minutes or more. CN officials reported 14.Maybe it was a rounding error? You, 14 or 1,443 ?
CN officials maintain they weren't trying to mislead anyone. It's the first such fine administered by the three-member Surface Transportation Board, which was established in 1996.Well, when they finally got around to doing it ... it was a doozy
CN submits monthly and quarterly reports to the STB outlining how the merger affects traffic over all of its crossings. The STB ordered the reports when it approved CN's purchase of the EJ&E on Dec. 24, 2008, over the protests of several suburbs including Barrington.
CN officials testified in April before the STB on the matter. They said the discrepancy stemmed from reporting only instances when crossings were blocked from stopped trains. Slow-moving trains could block crossings, among other causes.Yes, indeed, slow-moving trains could block crossings .. CNN ... TAKE NOTE!
“We're disappointed with the board's conclusions and impositions of the fines against CN,” CN spokesman Patrick Waldron said. “At no time did CN mislead or attempt to mislead the STB or local leaders or the general public through its ongoing reporting.”Except that the part about the discrepenty between 14 and 1,443 being off by a factor of one hundred?
The STB considered a steeper fine in the millions, but decided that even though CN should have known the type of information the STB requested, that their record of compliance showed cooperation.They cooperated. It's just that their cooperation consisted of giving a bunch of junk numbers. THAT's what we're talking 'bout.
The STB approved the EJ&E purchase despite protests from Chicago-area communities who said the merger would clog their roads with multiple trains, and more noise.And so it seems, the Chicago-area communities ended up with both the assumptions AND the facts on their side.
CN is using the former EJ&E tracks to move trains around Chicago instead of sending all their freight through the city's congested rail lines.
Waldron also said CN has reached mitigation agreements with 26 of 33 communities affected by the EJ&E purchase and said the rest of the third-party audit “validates our overall compliance efforts” with the STB.
THE REST OF IT? You mean the part where they weren't off by a factor of 100? VALIDATES the part about them being off by a factor of 100?