CBC Seeking Tips in $2.6 Million CN Rail Mystery Trips

A CBC story yesterday laid out a bit of a mystery. CN Rail trains apparently delivered shipments of biodiesel from Sarnia, Ontario to Port Huron, Michigan. The odd part is that the cars were, apparently, then moved to a different train and returned to Sarnia at a cost of $2.6 million.

So what? Someone made an expensive mistake right? Apparently not:
"It all took place between June 15 and 28, 2010.

According to internal CN records, Train 503 shipped the biodiesel to Port Huron, Mich., from Sarnia, Ont.; Train 504 brought them back. The number of cars on the train would remain mostly the same, but cars were added and removed, between 68 and 89 cars at a time. As soon as the paperwork and car shuffling was completed, the trains made the return trip.

“This unit train will move at least once daily to Port Huron starting on Tuesday, June 18,” said an email written by Teresa Edwards, CN’s manager of transportation for Port Huron/Sarnia.

It will “clear customs and return to Sarnia. If we can get in more flips back and forth we will attempt to do so. Each move per car across the border is revenue generated for Sarnia/Port Huron.

“It will be the same cars flipping back and forth and the product will stay on the car.”

The email ends with a reminder that the move “has the potential to make a lot of money for CN so need everyone’s assistance to maximize the number of trips that we make and ensure that it all moves smooth.”

Read the full story at cbc.ca/news and, if you have any additional information contact dave.seglins@cbc.ca and john.nicol@cbc.ca
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