CN announces multi-year, C$500-million capital program to upgrade Western Canada feeder rail lines carrying rising freight volumes to and from North American and world markets

MONTREAL, April 16, 2015 /CNW/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) announced today a multi-year program to invest approximately C$500 million in infrastructure improvements to its Western Canada feeder rail lines in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan that are handling rising volumes of industrial products, natural resources, and energy-related commodities.

In 2015, CN will allocate approximately C$100 million for work on northern Alberta branch lines, investing in infrastructure upgrades and safety improvements, including heavier rail, crushed rock ballast and new ties, to ensure the network can efficiently accommodate future freight volume growth in the Peace River region.

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said: "CN is building for the future with large capital investments in long-term safety and capacity improvements to ensure it continues to play its role as a true backbone of the economy.

"CN sees significant long-term potential in its customer base located on its Western Canada feeder network. We want to provide our customers with the capacity for continued efficient freight transportation services that increase their competitiveness in North American and global markets, as well as ensure our rail infrastructure is as safe as possible."

CN continues to see rising freight volumes in Western Canada, which have increased by more than 50 per cent in the past five years. Given this growth, CN has also invested significantly in its Edmonton-Winnipeg main line corridor, installing sections of double track, extending sidings to accommodate longer more efficient trains, and improving major classification yards.

CN's major investments in Western Canada are designed to increase the capacity and safety of its rail infrastructure and to allow the company to continue to grow at low incremental cost in support of Canada's trade.

Mongeau concluded: "CN believes that commercial principles and a stable regulatory environment are essential to support rail infrastructure investment and maintain Canada's safe, efficient and well-functioning rail transportation marketplace in the future."

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information included in this news release constitutes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. CN cautions that, by their nature, these forward-looking statements, including statements relating to freight volume growth in Western Canada and the long-term potential of Western Canadian customers, 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. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company or the rail industry to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. Important factors that could affect the above forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks and assumptions detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. 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, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risks.

CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable Canadian securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.

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 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 on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.

SOURCE CN

For further information:

Media: Mark Hallman, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, (905) 669-3384; Investment Community: Janet Drysdale, Vice-President, Investor Relations, (514) 399-0052


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