News & Reviews News Wire Canadian National launches second train pair serving Port of Halifax

Canadian National launches second train pair serving Port of Halifax

By Bill Stephens | June 24, 2022

| Last updated on February 26, 2024

Railway says service is fastest from East Coast port to Quebec, Ontario, and U.S. Midwest

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Canadian National switches international intermodal traffic at the Port of Halifax. Canadian National

MONTREAL – Canadian National has added a second pair of intermodal trains linking the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with points in Eastern Canada and the U.S. Midwest.

The railway launched trains Q122 and Q123 this month, joining existing trains Q120 and Q121 that serve Atlantic Canada’s busiest containerport.

“Working with our partner PSA, this additional service supports shippers on the East Coast including the Port of Halifax, the only port on the East Coast that accommodates ultra-class vessels, and takes advantage of CN’s uncongested high-speed network from the East Coast to Montreal, Toronto, and the U.S. Midwest,” Chief Marketing Officer Doug MacDonald said in a LinkedIn post on Thursday.

From Halifax departure to container availability inland, the trains offer 26-hour service to Montreal; 35 to Toronto; 59 to Detroit; and 56 to Chicago.

“We believe that this new service with PSA will provide the best transit times from any East Coast port,” MacDonald wrote. “There will be significant opportunities for your business with this new service from Halifax.”

CN is the only railroad to serve Halifax, an ice-free, deepwater port that can handle today’s big containerships and is on direct global trade routes. It’s the first port of call for ships heading to North America from Europe and from Asia via the Suez Canal.

The port, CN, and terminal operator PSA aim to gain market share from other East Coast ports, primarily the Port of New York and New Jersey.

CN’s move comes as Canadian Pacific is landing more container traffic through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick.

6 thoughts on “Canadian National launches second train pair serving Port of Halifax

  1. In a time of major traffic delays at other ports this is a win for both the railroad and the shipping companies. As port congestion continues both on the west coast and some east coast locations this additional service should be welcomed by various shippers.

  2. The Port of Halifax currently has a throughput between its two container terminals of 1,160,000 TEUs and is operating at about 60% capacity.

    The Fairview Cove Container Terminal can handle 9,000 TEU ships and has a throughput of 570,000 TEUs.

    The South End Container Terminal can handle two 16,000+ TEU ships simultaneously and has a throughput of 590,000 TEUs

    They have a 50-Year Plan that can be downloaded from this site:

  3. Interesting that it takes 24 hours to get from Toronto to Detroit, but only 21 from Toronto to Chicago…the Detroit and Chicago transit times look fishy.

    1. Based on previous operations, I would guess that Detroit traffic will be set out at Port Huron or Flint Michigan and have to wait for another train to take it south to Detroit.

  4. Overheard in London, Ontario in January 1, 1959:
    Shop foreman, “One day boy, this loco will be shuffling around double stack well cars full of 40′ shipping containers packed with Swedish furniture-in-a-box and Chinese flat screen TV’s”
    Apprentice Fitter *thinks*, “Damn, the old man hit the sauce early this morning.”

  5. CN is well suited for intermodal, Prince Rupert, Halifax and access to the Gulf. Deep water, ice free ports, enviable ruling grades, Class I operation.

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