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GO Transit and UP Express Services Disrupted by CN Rail System Failure

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GO Transit Trains and UP Express Disrupted by CN Rail System Failure

Commuters in the Greater Toronto Area experienced chaos during their afternoon rush hour on Tuesday due to a network-wide system failure at CN Rail. This failure resulted in the halt of all GO Transit trains and the rail link to Toronto's main airport. After three and a half hours, limited service from downtown Toronto's Union Station resumed, with outbound trains running every 30 minutes. Metrolinx, the operator of GO Transit, stated that the CN network-wide system failure was ongoing but that service was slowly being restored. GO Transit warned commuters of expected cancellations and potential delays throughout the evening. Alternative transportation options were suggested due to the anticipated high demand for available trains. The disruption affected Via Rail trains routed through Union Station and the UP Express, which connects the downtown core to Pearson International Airport. While limited service resumed for the UP Express, delays and cancellations were still expected. CN Rail attributed the system failure to an internet connectivity and electronic data interchange issue. The company apologized for the problem and assured that efforts were being made to restore all services. CN trains, EXO commuter trains in Montreal, and Amtrak trains in the U.S. continued to operate. The cause of the outage is currently under investigation. During the outage, rail traffic controllers resorted to issuing orders by pen and paper, which were then communicated to conductors via radio. This allowed trains to be moved to stations or safe areas of track where they were halted.

Implications of CN Rail System Failure on New Businesses

The recent network-wide system failure at CN Rail, which disrupted GO Transit trains and the UP Express, offers a compelling case study for new businesses, particularly those in the transportation and logistics sector. This incident underscores the importance of robust, reliable systems and contingency plans to ensure business continuity.

Reliance on Technology

CN Rail attributed the system failure to an internet connectivity and electronic data interchange issue, highlighting the heavy reliance modern businesses have on technology. For new businesses, this serves as a stark reminder of the need for robust IT infrastructure and cybersecurity measures. It's crucial to invest in reliable technology and ensure regular system checks and updates to prevent such failures.

Contingency Planning

The incident also underscores the importance of having a solid contingency plan in place. During the outage, rail traffic controllers resorted to issuing orders by pen and paper, communicated via radio. While this allowed trains to be moved to safe areas, it was far from ideal. New businesses must ensure they have effective contingency plans in place to minimize disruption in the event of unexpected system failures.
Customer Communication
Finally, the incident emphasizes the importance of clear, timely communication with customers during a crisis. GO Transit's warnings and updates to commuters were crucial in managing expectations and mitigating frustration. New businesses must prioritize transparent communication to maintain customer trust during challenging times. In conclusion, while the CN Rail system failure caused significant disruption, it also provides valuable lessons for new businesses in crisis management, contingency planning, and customer communication.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/go-transit-trains-up-express-halted-due-to-cn-rail-network-wide-system-failure
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