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3 railroads join to serve US-Mexico-Canada

Falcon Premium intermodal service connects CN, UP and Grupo Mexico together, counters CPKC merger.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Courtesy of CN
Courtesy of CN

Canadian National (CN), Union Pacific (UP) and Grupo Mexico railroads said they will work together to move intermodal cars filled with shipping containers from Mexico north across the U.S. to the key hub of Chicago and further north into Canada.

The Grupo Mexico railway will extend from the Mexican hubs of Monterrey, Nuevo León and Silao, Guanajuato, to Eagle Pass, Texas. From there, the Union Pacific railroad extends to Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan, where it will then connect to all Canadian National railway points — the most direct route between Canada and Mexico.

According to reports, the service is designed to counter Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern's (CPKC) merger in March, which created a single-line rail service connecting all three North American countries.

Falcon Premium helps with railroads' climate goals

Falcon Premium is designed to allow the maximization of lading weights between Mexico/Canada for greater efficiency for customers. The service will also contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions through reduced rail miles and significant truck-to-rail conversion, said Lance Fritz, chairman, president and CEO of UP.

"This ... venture harnesses the strengths of three companies to provide best-in-class service to our customers in three countries, while supporting our climate goals," said Fritz.

CPKC joins with trucking firm to move Mexico shipments

The Falcon Premium announcement comes just days after the AP reported that CPKC made a multiyear agreement with the Schneider National trucking firm to become the preferred railroad to handle that company’s intermodal shipments to and from Mexico beginning in May.

The deal would move shipping containers of goods the trucking company picks up at manufacturers and ports in Mexico to the key rail hub in Chicago, where all the major railroads exchange traffic.

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