CP Rail to eliminate 4,500 positions by 2016 as part of restructuring

Canadian Pacific Railway says it will eliminate some 4,500 employee and contractor positions by 2016.

New chief executive Hunter Harrison said Tuesday they have already made progress and expect 1,700 positions to be eliminated by year end.

CP's total workforce is 19,500, which includes employees and contractors. The company says the reductions will be achieved through job cuts, attrition and fewer contractors as part of its restructuring plan.

Harrison is an American-born retired CEO of Canadian National Railway and is credited with turning the Montreal-based company into the most efficient major railway in North America.

Earlier this year, CP CEO Fred Green announced his departure, ending a months-long battle that pitted New York activist investor Bill Ackman against the board of directors. The railroad has since elected a new board.