Mediation Fails to Reach Settlement with Amtrak, CN

Mediators trying to help Canadian National and Amtrak reach an agreement to settle a dispute over train dispatching have notified the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that they have withdrawn.

The mediators notified STB Chair Ann Begeman that despite meeting with the two sides “multiple times over the last several months” no settlement was reached.

The STB ordered the two parties to enter into mediation last August.

Amtrak has filed a case with the STB against CN over how the host railroad handles Amtrak trains, particularly between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois, where Amtrak operates three pairs of trains.

In their letter to the STB, the mediators said they remain available to the parties should they decided to revive mediation.

The STB order had appointed the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to serve as lead mediator.

Amtrak and CN have been at odds over a number of issues. Aside from Amtrak’s contention that CN dispatching has unduly delayed it trains, the passenger carrier is upset over a CN minimum axle count mandate that results in longer train consists than Amtrak wants to operate.

CN contends that Amtrak rolling stock has issues with activating grade crossing protection devices whereas Amtrak counters that CN maintenance practices are the problem.

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