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UPDATE 1-Activist investor Elliott has large position in Canadian National- WSJ

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(Adds details from WSJ report, shares)

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Activist investor Elliott Management Corp has a big stake in Canadian National Railway Co (CN), the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday https://on.wsj.com/3nbxf46, citing people familiar with the matter.

CN said on Tuesday Chief Executive Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest will retire at the end of January or when a successor has been appointed, following investor demands for his exit after the railroad operator's failed bid for Kansas City Southern .

TCI Fund Management, which owns 5% of CN, in August pitched former Union Pacific executive Jim Vena for the top job and on Tuesday urged Canada's largest railroad operator to secure his leadership.

Elliott also supports Vena, who is being considered by CN's board, the WSJ report said, citing the people.

Elliott, whose stake is smaller than TCI's but still substantial, has been in talks with Canadian National for weeks, the report added.

CN and Elliott did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

Shares in CN closed up 5.2% on Wednesday. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)