SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — The Canadian National Railway (CN) is investing more than C$245 million in Saskatchewan in 2019 to expand the company’s rail network across the province.

“Following a record capital program in 2018, CN brought on 25% more qualified train conductors in Western Canada and added over 10% more active high horse power locomotives to its network,” said Doug Ryhorchuk, vice-president of CN’s Western region. “This year, CN is investing C$35 million more than last year to bring greater capacity to CN’s mainline to benefit all commodities.”

The Saskatchewan investments are part of CN’s 2019 C$3.9 billion capital investment focused on enabling growth from all commodity segments, including consumer goods, grain, agriculture, forest, and energy products from all of its customers, safely and efficiently.

“Whenever one company invests a quarter billion dollars into Saskatchewan, that’s great news,” said Steve McLellan, chief executive officer of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “And the fact that this investment by CN will help get our key export products to market faster makes the benefit even greater. This investment continues to demonstrate CN’s commitment to our province and their customers who do business here,”

CN is currently deploying safety technologies across its network, such as Autonomous Track Inspection Program, Distributed Air Cars, and Automated Inspection Portals. CN noted these implementations combined with its investments in locomotives, capacity, infrastructure, and train crews, will support the safe and efficient movement for customers’ goods to their end markets.

“Rail links are very important to Saskatchewan business,” said Darla Lindbjerg, CEO of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. “Connections to diverse markets are essential for our businesses to prosper and grow. CN’s commitment to our city and the province is commendable. Over five hundred employees are based out of Saskatoon and the company continues to make important investments such as this in Saskatchewan year over year. CN is a very important driver for our local and provincial economy.”

Planned expansion projects include:

  • Construction of about 10 miles of double track between near Atwater, east of Melville;
  • Construction of about 10 miles of double track near Fenwood, west of Melville;
  • Construction of about 8 miles of double track near Biggar, west of Saskatoon; and
  • Construction of about 7 miles of double track near Clavet, southeast of Saskatoon.            

Maintenance program highlights include:            

  • Replacement of approximately 66 miles of rail
  • Installation of approximately 260,000 new railroad ties
  • Rebuilds of 21 road crossing surfaces
  • Other maintenance work on culverts, signal systems, and additional track infrastructure

CN’s Saskatchewan rail network connects agricultural customers across the Prairies to world markets and has terminals in Saskatoon, Regina, and Melville.

Saskatchewan in numbers:

Capital investments: Approximately C$700 million in the last five years

  • Employees: approximately 1,300
  • Railroad route miles operated: 1,937
  • Community partnerships: C$308,000 in 2018
  • Local spending: C$160 million in 2018
  • Cash taxes paid: C$44 million in 2018