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Digest: Pacific Surfliner to require reservations on peak summer weekends

By | May 26, 2021

News Wire Digest third section for May 26: BNSF to serve new canola plant at Canadian border; North Carolina Railroad names new financial officer

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Blue and silver-painted locomotive at a station platform surrounding by brown steel work and palm trees.
Blue and silver-painted locomotive at a station platform surrounding by brown steel work and palm trees.
A Siemens Charger locomotive trails a Pacific Surfliner train at Fullerton, Calif. Reservations will be required for the Surfliner on at least four weekends this summer. (Trains: David Lassen)

Pacific Surfliners to require reservations on four weekends; more could be added

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner will require reservations for travel on peak weekends this suffer, a move to manage capacity when more travelers are anticipated. Four weekends have been designated for the reservation requirement — Memorial Day weekend (May 28-June 1), Fourth of July weekend (July 2-5), the opening weekend at Del Mar racetrack (July 16-19), and Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3-7). The program allowing use of Metrolink and Coaster on Pacific Surfliners will be suspended on most of these dates, although Amtrak monthly and 10-ride passes may still be used with a reservation. Additional dates could be added depending on travel demand. Visit the Pacific Surfliner site for more information.

BNSF to serve new Saskatchewan canola processing plant

BNSF Railway will serve a new $350 million canola processing facility to be built by Ceres Global Ag Corp. in Northgate, Saskatchewan. The new plant will be capable of processing 11 million metric tons of canola annually and refine over 500 metric tons of canola oil for food and fuel. The plant, just north of the border with North Dakota, is expected to be in operation by summer 2024. It will be built at an existing Ceres Northgate facility with a 2.7 million bushel shuttle loading grain elevator and two 120-car loop tracks. Ceres CEO Robert Day said in a press release that the location on the BNSF “provides the most efficient access to the U.S. market and U.S. ports” and that the existing facility provides “‘construction-ready infrastructure’ … shortening the timeline to complete this project.”

Jeng named as CFO of North Carolina Railroad

The North Carolina Railroad Co., the state-owned private corporation which manages a rail corridor of more than 300 miles used by state-supported Amtrak passenger service and Norfolk Southern freight trains, has named Michelle Jeng as as chief financial officer, effective June 21. Jeng previously served as CFO at the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority in Cincinnati. Railroad CEO Carl Warren said in a press release that Jeng “brings a wealth of experience ranging from financial strategy to leadership, and her expertise will play a significant role as we take a proactive approach to managing the unique North Carolina Railroad asset.”

3 thoughts on “Digest: Pacific Surfliner to require reservations on peak summer weekends

  1. Does Amtrak have any spare cars that they can add to Surf liner trains ? Wonder if this reservation requirement is so Amtrak can put enough cars on each train ? If so that might cause a few delays due to have to make second stops at some stations ?

  2. Alan Jones – I just have a gut feeling that “managing capacity” these days means “when the train is full, it’s full,” not “let’s add more cars so we can increase our revenue.” I’d like to be wrong.

  3. It’s great that Ceres Global Ag Corp wants to move its product by train. But, I can’t see canola oil moving by rail. 500 Mtons? That’s less than 6 carloads. And 11 million tons of canola is only eleven 10,000-ton trains. I doubt CP or CN would even be interested.

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