CN investing $320 million in Alberta’s rail infrastructure in 2018

CN operates 4,060 kms of rail in Alberta with 2,700 employees

CN announced plans to invest $320 million across Alberta in 2018 to expand and strengthen the company’s rail network throughout the province, according to a CN press release.

“We are investing for the long haul with these projects to boost capacity and network resiliency to meet growing demand in grain, energy, forest products and other markets so important to Alberta’s economy,” said Doug Ryhorchuk, VP of CN’s Western Region

“Our investments in new double track and yard expansions, combined with new equipment and more people, will help us deliver superior service to our customers in Alberta and North America. Additionally, our substantial investments to renew our existing railway infrastructure underscores our commitment to operating safely.”

The Alberta investments are part of CN’s record $3.4 billion capital program for 2018.

They include more than 30 miles of new double track in four locations along CN’s busy transcontinental corridor across the province and rail yard expansions that will improve efficient movement of rail cars into and out of Edmonton.

Other capital program elements will focus on the replacement, upgrade and maintenance of key track infrastructure to improve overall safety and efficiency.

Planned expansion projects include:

  • Construction of 12 miles of double track west of Edmonton across Parkland County
  • Construction of about seven miles of double track near Wainwright, east of Edmonton
  • Construction of about seven miles of double track near Tofield, east of Edmonton
  • Construction of about 11 miles of double track near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border
  • Installation of a new bypass track at Walker Yard in Edmonton, to increase efficiency of train movements through the yard
  • Building new storage and bypass tracks at Scotford Yard northeast of Edmonton for additional car storage and improved operational efficiency
  • Building new track capacity at CN’s yard in Swan Landing

Maintenance program highlights include:

  • Replacement of approximately 130 miles of rail
  • Installation of more than 270,000 new railroad ties
  • Rebuilds of approximately 40 road crossing surfaces
  • Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure

CN’s Alberta rail network includes key terminals in Edmonton and Calgary, serving customers in forest products, intermodal, agricultural and energy markets across the province.

CN investing for the long haul

Across its network, CN continues to invest in trade-enabling infrastructure and equipment.

Earlier this year, CN announced plans to acquire 350 new box cars to serve forest products and metals customers and to purchase 350 new lumber cars to meet growing demand to move wood products.

In May, CN announced that 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.

This month, CN is taking 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.

After adding hundreds of conductors to the field so far this year, CN continues to hire with a particular focus on crews in Western Canada. Approximately 1,250 new qualified conductors will be in the field network wide before next winter, compared to heading into the previous winter.

CN is also pleased to announce the establishment of a new, two-year Management Trainee Program designed to provide a solid operational background for the railway’s next generation of leaders. Over the course of the program, trainees will learn how CN operates and gain exposure to the Company’s business agenda of operational and service excellence for its customers across North America.

Successful graduates will be placed in full-time, permanent management positions aligned with individual educational background and experience.  The first 50 trainees, from both Canada and the United States, will start in July 2018.

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