The new intermodal service is set to begin on October 7 and the two railways say the partnership reflects their efforts to adapt to market demands and convert long-haul road to traffic to rail.

“Over the long term, the freight market will increasingly depend on demand driven by the consumer economy and the rail industry must create new intermodal services that can successfully rival the over-the-road options,” says Mr JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer at CN. “This interline service fits perfectly with our strategic focus on feeding our unique network through organic and inorganic growth opportunities, including extending our reach into new geographic markets.”

“This new intermodal offering aims to convert long-haul trucks to interline rail services,” explains Mr Keith Reardon, senior vice president of consumer product supply chain at CN. “Trains will run directly into the heart of the metropolitan markets of Toronto and Montreal via CN intermodal yards, making this partnership a natural opportunity for both railways.”

CSX President and CEO Jim Foote says a link into Canada answers a need expressed by customers. It also will allow the railway to capture market share from trucks and increase network capacity, particularly in meeting demand from larger container ships at the ports of Philadelphia, and New York and New Jersey.