Report: Canadian rail construction shows stable, solid growth

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

The Business Monitor has released its latest findings on Canada's expanding infrastructure sector in its newly-published Canada Infrastructure Report, revising down its outlook for the overall construction industry in Canada for 2013 to 2.2 percent, but pointing to a strong railway sub-sector.


Below trend construction industry data has prompted Business Monitor to downgrade their 2013 forecast for industry growth, however, they are maintaining their view that Canada will be one of the best performing developed markets over the near term. Growth will be supported by high-value infrastructure projects across the transport and energy sectors, as well as social infrastructure, industrial projects and a housing market that whilst slowing, should remain positive.

One of the strongest sub-sectors over Business Monitor’s 10-year forecast period to 2022 will be railways, where a project pipeline worth US$36 billion will drive annual average industry value real growth of 4.4 percent between 2013 and 2022. This growth is said to be driven primarily by urban rail projects, including the CA$8.2-billion (US$7.8-billion) Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit project, the US$2.6-billion Toronto Subway Spadina Line expansion, the US$2.1-billion Ottawa Light Rail project and the US$1.8-billion Edmonton Light Rail project.

There is further upside potential to Business Monitor’s forecast from freight rail projects. In November 2012, a CA$8.6-billion (US$8.2-billion) railway project to transport crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Alaska moved forward. The project has support from First Nations groups and is seeking financing to produce a feasibility study. However, projects such as the CA$5-billion (US$4.7-billion) Cóte Nord rail project in Quebec, which was temporarily suspended in February 2013 due to weak demand, were held from the report.


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