MONTREAL, Que.–CN is launching a multi-year program to invest approximately C$500 million in infrastructure improvements to its Western Canada feeder rail lines in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan that are handling rising volumes of industrial products, natural resources, and energy-related commodities.
In 2015, CN said it will allocate approximately C$100 million for work on northern Alberta branch lines, investing in infrastructure upgrades and safety improvements, including heavier rail, crushed rock ballast and new ties, to ensure the network can efficiently accommodate future freight volume growth in the Peace River region, said a release.
Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said: “CN is building for the future with large capital investments in long-term safety and capacity improvements to ensure it continues to play its role as a true backbone of the economy.
“CN sees significant long-term potential in its customer base located on its Western Canada feeder network. We want to provide our customers with the capacity for continued efficient freight transportation services that increase their competitiveness in North American and global markets, as well as ensure our rail infrastructure is as safe as possible,” he added.
CN said it continues to see rising freight volumes in Western Canada, which have increased by more than 50 per cent in the past five years. Given this growth, CN has also invested significantly in its Edmonton-Winnipeg main line corridor, installing sections of double track, extending sidings to accommodate longer more efficient trains, and improving major classification yards.
CN’s major investments in Western Canada are designed to increase the capacity and safety of its rail infrastructure and to allow the company to continue to grow at low incremental cost in support of Canada’s trade.
“CN believes that commercial principles and a stable regulatory environment are essential to support rail infrastructure investment and maintain Canada’s safe, efficient and well-functioning rail transportation marketplace in the future,” Mongeau concluded: