Canadian National (CN) aims to improve safety while supporting efficient service through the province of Quebec with a planned CA$210 million (US$160 million) investment during 2018.
The investments are part of CN’s record CA$3.4 billion (US$2.6 billion) capital program in 2018 and will focus on the replacement, upgrade and maintenance of key track infrastructure.
The Class 1 plans to install close to 40 miles of rail, 155,000 crossties, rebuild more than 35 grade-crossing surfaces, as well as perform maintenance on culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.
“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 2018 provincial capital plan is in addition to the CA$1.2 billion (US$916 million) the railroad has invested in Quebec during the past five years. This year’s 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.
“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.”