CN investing $210 million in Quebec's rail infrastructure in 2018
MONTREAL, June 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CN (TSX:CNR) (NYSE:CNI) said today it plans to invest approximately $210 million across Quebec in 2018 to strengthen the Company's rail network throughout the province, improving safety and supporting efficient service.
"We are again investing across the province to support a safe and fluid railway network, and our increasing investments in technology are making our Montreal headquarters part of the growing tech economy of Quebec," said Michael Farkouh, vice-president of CN's Eastern Region. "We remain committed to investing for the long haul to raise the bar on service for our customers across Quebec and North America, while continuing to strengthen our infrastructure in support of our unwavering commitment to railway safety."
The investments are part of CN's record C$3.4 billion capital program in 2018 and will focus on the replacement, upgrade and maintenance of key track infrastructure. The program includes upgrades to the automated gate system at CN's Montreal intermodal terminal, improving truck flow and making it easier for trucks to move in and out of the facility. It also includes significant investments in information and technology as part of various initiatives to improve railway safety and customer service. After hiring more than 300 I&T professionals last year, CN continues to hire at its Montreal headquarters.
Planned capital work in Quebec will support network safety and efficiency through:
- Installation of nearly 40 miles of new rail
- Installation of more than 155,000 railroad ties
- Rebuilds of more than 35 road crossing surfaces
- Maintenance work on culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure
"A well-functioning transportation system supports middle-class jobs and contributes to the economic growth of our communities" said Marc Miller, member of parliament for Ville-Marie - Le Sud-Ouest - Île-des-Sœurs. "The investments announced today will help get local and international products to market in a safe and efficient manner."
CN's Quebec rail network stretches over approximately 2,000 miles and serves various regions, including the Port of Montreal. The Company's headquarters, located in downtown Montreal, is home to close to 2,000 employees.
Stéphane Forget, president and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, said, "Many of the businesses that drive the economy of Quebec and its regions rely on seamless freight movement to thrive. CN's investments in its rail network are an important step in this direction."
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.
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.
Quebec in numbers:
- Capital investments: more than $1.2 billion in the last five years
- Employees: approximately 3,710
- Railroad route miles operated: 2,038
- Community partnerships: $3.8 million in 2017
- Local spending: $1.6 billion in 2017
- Property taxes paid: $91 million in 2017
Certain statements included in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of terminology such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "assumes," "outlook," "plans," "targets," or other similar words.
Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Important risk factors that could affect the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions; industry competition; inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations; changes in fuel prices; legislative and/or regulatory developments; compliance with environmental laws and regulations; actions by regulators; increases in maintenance and operating costs; security threats; reliance on technology and related cybersecurity risk; trade restrictions or other changes to international trade arrangements; transportation of hazardous materials; various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, fires, floods and earthquakes; climate change; labor negotiations and disruptions; environmental claims; uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation; risks and liabilities arising from derailments; timing and completion of capital programs; and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to Management's Discussion and Analysis in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F, filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators and available on CN's website, for a description of major risk factors.
Forward-looking statements reflect information as of the date on which they are made. CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.
CN is a true backbone of the economy whose team of approximately 25,000 railroaders transports more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries - serves the cities and ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information about CN, visit the Company's website at www.cn.ca.
Source: Canadian National Railway