Canadian Pacific and New Brunswick Southern Railroad are coordinating train departures and planned ‘schedules’ to increase fluidity and improve timing between Saint John, NB and Montreal, QC. In addition to the service changes, CP has now officially added Saint John as a customer station point. This move indicates that CP has, at minimum, secured haulage rights to and from Saint John on the NBSR.
In order to facilitate better connections and service, CP will originate train #250 from Montreal Sunday through Friday, departing Montreal-St. Luc Yard at 2230 hrs, aligning a connection with CP train #142 arrival from Chicago. The 250 will no longer work at Vachon, QC, eliminating a station time stop of 45 minutes (planned time not actual) and will begin handling a new Lachine, QC intermodal black to Saint John for domestic intermodal business. On arrival at Brownville Junction, ME, NBSR has aligned the schedule for their train #908 to depart shortly after 250’s arrival in Brownville Jct., thus decreasing the overall timing between Montreal and Saint John.
On the flip side, NBSR’s Saint John to Brownville Junction train #907, will depart Saint John in the early morning hours and arrive in Brownville Junction by late afternoon. This will connect directly to the CP #251 train, Monday through Saturday departure at 1910 hrs. The westbound train will handle a new block of traffic that will be built specifically for Saratoga Springs, NY and be swapped to CP train #252 at St. Luc, without having to be reclassified or switched out. This traffic is expected to largely be westbound product from the Woodland Pulp, LLC mill in Baileyville, ME, including what has been reported as new business in toilet tissue. On the westbound trip, work at Vachon, QC has also been removed with a new CP train #F22 implemented to handle traffic between Sherbrooke and Lac Megantic, QC.
These changes are being implemented beginning November 1 and are aimed at further reducing transit time between Saint John and Montreal, as intermodal and automotive marketing teams work to gain steady business for the CMQ route. As a side note, Searsport has been toured and observed by CP’s management and CEO Keith Creel and the unit bulk trains that were spoken of in early investment calls, are apparently still on the horizon.