CN spokesperson Emily Hamer explains the company regularly reviews volumes and routinely increases or decreases its service levels accordingly.
“We have reduced train service to match current traffic levels,” she says, adding, “CN has been in touch with customers in Fort Nelson and described recent service changes in the area.”
However, the Northern Rockies Regional Council says it has already heard complaints from several business owners who says the reduction is affecting their operations, and can’t rely on inconsistent deliveries. In an letter to CN Rail, Acting Mayor Doug McKee writes, “As the only service centre for the significant natural gas developments in the Horn, Liard and Cordova basins, access to timely rail service is essential for our businesses and industry to operate in an efficient manner. The transport of fuel, equipment, sand used for hydraulic fracturing and many other items require a reliable rail service to keep costs competitive.”
The Fort Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce echoes that sentiment in its own letter asking that service levels be maintained. After listing a number of issues that have occurred for businesses as a result of the reduction, it asks to facilitate a conversation between CN and those who rely on its service.
“Clearly there is a systemic service issue taking place in Fort Nelson which has the potential to become more severe and our expectation is that you stand behind your statement to address these issues now that they have been brought to your attention.”
Hamer says they have received the Chamber’s letter, is reviewing its specifics in order to respond directly.