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CN to invest CAN$445 million in British Columbia

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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 CAN$445 million across British Columbia in 2020.

The investments will include expansion projects that will add track in yards to handle growing traffic, new sidings as well as continued investments in multi-year initiatives to increase capacity at the Port of Vancouver and at the Port of Prince Rupert in collaboration with the Government of Canada, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The maintenance programme will focus on the replacement of rail and ties and maintenance work on level crossings, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

James Thompson, Vice-President, Western Region at CN, said: “We take our essential role in the North American economy seriously and these investments in British Columbia are a key part of our strategy to support growth. The company remains committed to help enable supply chains that fuel British Columbia’s 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.”

"Remaining committed to supporting Canadian businesses, our government continues to invest in Canada’s economy to encourage economic growth. We are pleased to see companies such as CN do their share by investing in improving safety, growing its capacity and enabling trade through a safe and reliable rail network. Our government has invested to encourage the fluidity of the Western Canadian trade gateway in British Columbia and CN is a key partner in those infrastructure expansions. These investments will continue to enable and support supply chains that make Canada a reliable international trading partner,” added Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada.

“CN is a transportation lifeline for people and businesses throughout British Columbia. This investment is great news for the 2400 CN employees in British Columbia, their families and the many more who will indirectly benefit from these important upgrades. CN is a key part of the post-COVID-19 economy where the export of British Columbia-made goods will be so crucial,” commented Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, Government of British Columbia.

Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Government of British Columbia , concluded:“A sound railway network is critical to our local, provincial and national economies. Our government appreciates CN’s contribution and dedication to strengthen our supply chain, especially as we begin to safely restart the economy during COVID-19. Investments like this will ensure that we remain well positioned to support trade so British Columbians and Canadians have access to the products they need in their daily lives.”

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 Program, Distributed Air Cars and Automated Inspection Portals.

Planned expansion projects include:

  • Construction of approximately 3.5 miles of double track between Vancouver and Edmonton, near Glen Valley.
  • Building new sidings on the Edmonton to Prince Rupert corridor to increase capacity for growing demand.
  • Continued investments to continue multi-year infrastructure projects that will increase capacity at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert in collaboration with the government of Canada, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

Maintenance programme highlights include:

  • Replacement of more than 100 miles of rail.
  • Installation of over 209 000 new railroad ties.
  • Installation of over 46 000 concrete ties.
  • Rebuilds of 22 road crossing surfaces.
  • Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

The ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are gateways to international trade, offering shorter transit times to Asia. At the Port of Vancouver, CN has coal, grain and intermodal terminals. In the Vancouver area, CN has two distribution centres for forest products, two for metals, three for automotive products and a CN CargoFlo bulk handling centre. In Prince George, CN has an intermodal terminal and another CargoFlo bulk handling facility in Ashcroft. Vancouver is home to a major rail classification yard.

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