Photo courtesy of CN.
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA – Canadian National Railway (CN)  plans to invest approximately $315 million in Ontario in 2018 to expand and strengthen the company’s rail network across the province.
Michael Farkouh VP of Eastern region for CN
Michael Farkouh, vice-president of CN’s Eastern Region

“We are investing for the long haul with these projects to boost capacity and network resiliency to meet growing demand across our economy,” said Michael Farkouh, vice-president of CN’s Eastern Region. “Our investments in track and intermodal yard capacity combined with new equipment will help us deliver superior service to our customers in Ontario and North America. Additionally, our substantial investments to renew our existing railway infrastructure underscores our commitment to operating safely.” 

The Ontario investments are part of CN’s record $3.4 billion capital program for 2018. They include a new train passing siding in CN’s transcontinental corridor through Northern Ontario linking Toronto and Winnipeg, and intermodal rail yard expansions that will improve efficient movement of containers into and out of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Other capital program elements will focus on the replacement, upgrade and maintenance of key track infrastructure to improve overall safety and efficiency.

"I applaud CN's investment in important railway infrastructure across Ontario,” said Navdeep Bains, the Canadian minister of innovation, science and economic development. “These investments will help connect Canadians by improving transportation and will maintain and expand CN's workforce of nearly 4,000 Ontarians." 

Planned expansion projects include:

  • Investments in a satellite intermodal facility near CN’s Brampton Intermodal Terminal to provide temporary capacity
  • Intermodal equipment and infrastructure at CN’s Brampton Intermodal Terminal to serve growing cold supply chain business
  • Construction of a new train passing siding east of Sioux Lookout.

Maintenance program highlights include:            

  • Replacement of approximately 90 miles of rail
  • Installation of more than 380,000 new railroad ties
  • Rebuilds of approximately 60 road crossing surfaces
  • Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

CN’s Ontario rail network stretches across the province, and the GTHA is home to MacMillan Yard, CN’s largest rail car classification facility, and Brampton Intermodal Terminal, CN’s largest intermodal facility. The Ontario network reaches other terminals across Canada’s industrial heartland, from Thunder Bay to Sarnia.             

The investment plan comes after the company’s recent announcement to also invest across the company’s rail network in British Colombia, Alberta, Québec, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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.