CN Investing $445 Million in British Columbia
Investments focused on safety and capacity to strengthen rail network
CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) announced today that, as part of its strategic investments to support growing demand and enable supply chains, it plans to invest approximately $445 million (CAD) 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 program will focus on the replacement of rail and ties and maintenance work on level crossings, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.
“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.”
- James Thompson, Vice-President, Western Region at CN
"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.”
- The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada
“CN is a transportation lifeline for people and businesses throughout B.C. This investment is great news for the 2,400 CN employees in B.C., 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 B.C.-made goods will be so crucial.”
- The Honourable Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, Government of British Columbia
“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 Honorable Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Government of British Columbia
The Company’s investments will create greater capacity, which supports reductions in its customer’s transportation supply chain 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 about 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 program 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
British Columbia in numbers:
- Capital investments: More than $ 1.3 billion in the last five years
- Employees: approximately 2,465
- Railroad route miles operated: 2,814
- Community partnerships: $870,000 in 2019
- Local spending: $535 million in 2019
- Cash taxes paid: $192 million in 2019
The bustling ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are dynamic 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.
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 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. 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.
CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting 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, 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.