VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA — The Canadian National Railway (CN) is investing in its rail infrastructure in British Columbia and Alberta.
The Alberta and British Columbia investments are part of CN’s 2019 record C$3.9 billion capital investment focused on enabling growth from all commodity segments, including consumer goods, grain, agricultural, forest, and energy products. Over two years, CN will have made a C$7.4 billion capital investment.
CN said it is 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.
“Following a record capital program in 2018, CN has been able to take on more traffic from different commodity sectors based on contracts with our customers,” said Doug Ryhorchuk, vice-president of CN’s Western region. “This year, CN is planning a new record capital investment in Alberta to continue boosting capacity and network resiliency and to meet growing traffic on our corridors across the province.”
A total of C$370 million is being invested across Alberta in 2019 to expand and strengthen the company’s rail network throughout the province.
“Market access for Alberta producers is important for diversifying our economy, creating jobs, and making life better,” said Ken Kobly, president and chief executive officer of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce. “It’s great to see CN is making investments geared toward improvement in the rail network and boosting market access for our producers.”
Planned expansion projects include:
- Construction of about 12 miles of double track between Leaman and Nilton, west of Edmonton;
- Construction of about 5 miles of double track near Entrance, east of the Alberta-British Columbia border;
- Construction of about 7 miles of double track near Greenshields, east of Edmonton; and,
- Building new tracks at Scotford Yard northeast of Edmonton to increase yard capacity for growing local demands.
Maintenance program highlights include:
- Replacement of more than 90 miles of rail;
- Installation of approximately 210,000 new railroad ties;
- Rebuilds of 44 road crossing surfaces; and,
- Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems, and other track infrastructure.
CN’s Alberta rail network includes terminals in Edmonton and Calgary.
In British Columbia, CN is investing C$345 million across its network.
“Prince George City Council wishes to express its sincere appreciation to CN for this important investment into the safety and security of railway service in Prince George and across the province,” said Lyn Hall, mayor of Prince George. “Prince George is a hub city at the confluence of rivers, roads, highways, and rails, thus investments in rail near Prince George directly benefit and enhance our city. Prince George is also a center that provides supplies and services to most of the northern half of B.C., so the health of our railway system is critical to our current and future success. Our city greatly values our relationship with CN and looks forward to continuing our successful partnership long into the future.”
Planned expansion projects that will focus on improving traffic fluidity in the Port of Prince Rupert and Port of Vancouver areas include:
- Construction of a new train passing siding in Port Edward;
- Construction of 2.5 miles of double track west of Prince George; and,
- Multi-year initiatives to increase capacity at the Port of Vancouver in collaboration with the Government of Canada and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
Maintenance program highlights include:
- Replacement of approximately 115 miles of rail;
- Installation of more than 210,000 new railroad ties;
- Rebuilds of 38 road crossing surfaces; and,
- Other maintenance work on culverts, signal systems and additional track infrastructure.
CN’s B.C. rail network serves the West Coast gateways of Vancouver and Prince Rupert and major inland terminals in Surrey, Prince George, Kamloops, and Fort Nelson.