He took over from Luc Jobin, who was dismissed earlier this month amidst growing complaints about poor grain-moving performance.
There are ships in Vancouver harbour that have waited since the end of December to load and the harbour is crammed with waiting ships. The situation is similar at Prince Rupert.
The most recent weekly statistics show that CN provided only 17 per cent of the grain transportation exporters ordered and CP provided only 66 per cent.
Ruest said those nearing retirement have been asked to stay to clear up the backlog, vacations have been delayed and recent retirees have been asked to return.
He said 130 locomotives have been ordered and some will be manned from management ranks.