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CN to invest US$165 in Illinois

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Dry Bulk,

CN has recently announced that, as part of its strategic investments to support growing demand and enable supply chains, it plans to invest approximately US$165 million across Illinois in 2020. The investments will focus on the Chicago St Charles Airline Bridge renewal as well as the replacement of rail and ties and maintenance of bridges, level crossings, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

Derek Taylor, Vice-President, Eastern Region at CN, said: “We take our essential role in the North American economy seriously and these investments in Illinois are a key part of our strategy to support growth. The company remains committed to help enable supply chains that fuel Illinois’ growth as we are a critical part of getting everyday goods to markets and consumers. Safety is a core value at CN and by investing in the maintenance and expansion of our track and capacity, we are providing customers with a safe and reliable solution at a time when fluid supply chains are more critical than ever.”

“Sustained long term investment in our infrastructure is something every part of our country needs. Illinois has been blessed with freight rail partners, like CN, who year after year contribute hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment in our state. CN surpassing US$1.3 billion in private CAPEX in Illinois alone over the last 5 years has set the foundation for the quick economic recovery we all seek,” added Mike Hastings, Illinois State Senator. The 19th Senate District includes portions of Cook and Will Counties, home to many communities at the core of CN’s Illinois network.

The company’s investments will create greater capacity, which supports reductions in its customer’s transportation supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by encouraging the use of rail for long haul needs. This reduces emissions, traffic congestion, accidents and burdens on public transportation infrastructure as one freight train can replace over 300 trucks from roads. Moving freight by rail instead of truck reduces GHG emissions by 75%. The company will continue to deploy important safety enhancing technologies across its network, such as the Autonomous Track Inspection Programme, Distributed Air Cars and Automated Inspection Portals.

Maintenance programme highlights include:

  • Replacement of 9 miles of rail.
  • Installation of over 180 000 new railroad ties.
  • Rebuilds of 45 road crossing surfaces.
  • Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

Illinois is CN’s largest state in terms of operations and employees. CN’s routes from throughout North America converge in Chicago. Homewood, a Chicago suburb, is home to CN’s US headquarters and a modern training centre. CN Campus is focused on instilling and reinforcing a strong safety culture. In 2019, nearly 3000 experienced railroaders, new hires and customers received a complete range of hands-on technical training.

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