CN unveils big spending plans

Canadian National Railway will spend about $750 million this year to upgrade its western Canadian rail network.

The company will spend approximately $445 million in British Columbia and another $305 million in Alberta on rail upgrades, maintenance and expansion projects.

In B.C., planned upgrades include the construction of about 5.6 kilometres of double track near Glen Valley, not far from Vancouver, on the company’s Edmonton to Vancouver corridor.

It will also build new sidings between Edmonton and Prince Rupert and will make additional investments in multi-year projects aimed at increasing rail capacity in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, the company said.

The company’s 2020 maintenance program in B.C. includes the replacement of more than 160 kilometres of rail and 250,000 railroad ties, as well as reconstruction of 22 level crossing surfaces and maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

In Alberta, the company will add about eight kilometres of new double track near Hinton, Alta., on the Edmonton to Vancouver route.

It will also replace approximately 110 kilometres of rail in Alberta, install more than 210,000 new ties and rebuild 28 road crossings. Bridges, culverts, signal systems, and other track infrastructure in Alberta will also be repaired or improved.

The investments will allow the company to handle more rail traffic and will accommodate economic growth.

“We take our essential role in the North American economy seriously and these investments … are a key part of our strategy to support growth,” said James Thompson, vice-president for CN’s western region.

“The company remains committed to help enable supply chains that fuel … growth as we are a critical part of getting everyday goods to markets and consumers.…

“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.”

Over the past five years, CN has spent billion of dollars on capital improvements in Western Canada, including $1.3 billion in British Columbia and $1.4 billion in Alberta.

The company operates approximately 8,000 kilometres of track in the two provinces.

Contact brian.cross@producer.com

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