Canadian National will spend CA$210 million (US$158.2 million) on expansion and maintenance projects in 2018. The investment is part of its record capital program.
CN says it plans to double track more than 20 miles of its transcontinental corridor in three locations in the province. The Class 1 also explains that key track infrastructure will also be replaced or upgraded in order to improve overall safety and efficiency.
Planned expansion projects include the construction of 10 miles of double track just east of Melville, about seven miles of double track west of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border and 11 miles of double track near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. CN also plans work that will add new capacity at its Melville Yard.
“We are investing for the long haul with these projects to boost capacity and network resiliency,” said Doug Ryhorchuk, vice-president of CN’s Western Region. “Our investments in new double track across the Prairies combined with new equipment and more people will help us deliver superior service to our grain, energy and other customers across the province and North America. Additionally, our substantial investments to renew our existing railway infrastructure underscores our commitment to operating safely.”
CN’s Saskatchewan maintenance program includes the replacement of approximately 40 miles of rail, the installation of more than 180,000 crossties and rebuilding approximately 20 grade-crossing surfaces. The railroad also notes that it will perform maintenance work on bridges, including the continuation of a multi-year project on the rail bridge over the South Saskatchewan River east of Warman, plus culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.
CN’s Saskatchewan rail network connects agricultural customers across the Prairies to worldwide markets and has major terminals in Saskatoon, Regina and Melville. The railroad has invested close to CA$650 million (US$489.7 million) in the province during the past five years.
“This investment by CN into Saskatchewan is very welcome and will play a critical role in keeping Saskatchewan products moving,” said Steve McLellan, chief executive officer of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “The new and enhanced rail lines, new cars, more people and locomotives all mean our products will get to market faster to better serve our global clients.”