CN invests in Québec rail infrastructure

by Holly Demaree-Saddler
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CN Rail
Photo courtesy of CN.
 
MONTREAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA — CN continues to invest in rail infrastructure throughout Canada with a third planned investment of approximately C$210 million across Québec in 2018. The goal is to strengthen the company’s rail network throughout the province, improving safety and supporting efficient service.

 

Michael Farkouh VP of Eastern region for CN
Michael Farkouh, vice-president of CN’s Eastern region

“We are again investing across the province to support a safe and fluid railway network, and our increasing investments in technology are making our Montreal headquarters part of the growing tech economy of Québec,” said Michael Farkouh, vice-president of CN’s Eastern region. “We remain committed to investing for the long haul to raise the bar on service for our customers across Québec and North America, while continuing to strengthen our infrastructure in support of our unwavering commitment to railway safety.”

The Québec investments are part of CN’s C$3.4 billion capital program in 2018 and will focus on the replacement, upgrade and maintenance of key track infrastructure. The program includes upgrades to the automated gate system at CN’s Montreal intermodal terminal, improving truck flow and making it easier for trucks to move in and out of the facility. It also includes significant investments in information and technology as part of various initiatives to improve railway safety and customer service. After hiring more than 300 I&T professionals last year, CN continues to hire at its Montreal headquarters.

Planned capital work in Québec will support network safety and efficiency through:

  • Installation of nearly 40 miles of new rail
  • Installation of more than 155,000 railroad ties
  • Rebuilds of more than 35 road crossing surfaces
  • Maintenance work on culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure

“A well-functioning transportation system supports middle-class jobs and contributes to the economic growth of our communities” said Marc Miller, member of parliament for Ville-Marie – Le Sud-Ouest – Île-des-Sœurs. “The investments announced today will help get local and international products to market in a safe and efficient manner.”

CN’s Québec rail network stretches over approximately 2,000 miles and serves various regions, including the Port of Montreal. The company’s headquarters, located in downtown Montreal, is home to close to 2,000 employees.

Stéphane Forget, president and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
Stéphane Forget, president and chief executive officer of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec

“Many of the businesses that drive the economy of Quebec and its regions rely on seamless freight movement to thrive,” said Stéphane Forget, president and chief executive officer of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec. “CN’s investments in its rail network are an important step in this direction.”

The investment plan comes after the company’s recent announcement to also invest across the company’s rail network in British Colombia and Alberta.

Across its network, CN continues to invest in trade-enabling infrastructure and equipment. In May, CN said it plans to acquire 1,000 Canadian built, new generation high-cube grain hopper cars over the next two years to rejuvenate the aging equipment needed to serve increasing annual crop yields. In June, CN will take delivery of the first of 60 new GE locomotives due in service in 2018. The balance of a multi-year, 200-unit order will be brought online in 2019 and 2020.

The update to CN’s transportation cars comes after the Canadian government  approved a bill on May 23 that includes provisions to make grain transportation by rail more efficient.

Canada’s wide-ranging Transportation Modernization Act is intended to help grains and other crops move more quickly to market after a winter in which CN and Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway Ltd. struggled to ship harvested grain in a timely manner.
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