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CN reopens key Port of Vancouver rail line — again

Canadian railway resumes service on Kamloops-Vancouver corridor in British Columbia

The disruption of CN rail service has hit commodity shipments hard at the Port of Vancouver. (Photo: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority)

CN has resumed service on its Kamloops-Vancouver corridor, the Canadian railway said on Monday, restoring a critical rail link to the Port of Vancouver.

The rail corridor was shut down three weeks ago as a result of damages brought by flooding and landslides that devastated British Columbia. CN (NYSE: CNI) had briefly restored service two weeks later before shutting it down again as a precautionary measure.

“CN crews will continue to monitor both the rail infrastructure as well as the terrain over the coming days and weeks to come,” the railway said in a statement.

The resumption of CN’s Kamloops-Vancouver service should give the Port of Vancouver much-needed relief from a massive backlog of rail shipments and vessels. As of Monday morning, 53 vessels, including six container ships, were waiting to berth — a level of congestion that has persisted for more than a week.

CN has been sharing Canadian Pacific’s (NYSE: CP) Kamloops-Vancouver line, which resumed operations two weeks ago. But the traffic running through has been extremely limited. 

The volume of containers leaving Vancouver by rail remains down by about two-thirds. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.

The volume of containers coming out of Vancouver via rail has been slowly recovering. As of Sunday, the outbound container volume from Vancouver stood at about 37% of its pre-disruption level, according to FreightWaves’ SONAR platform

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].