CN on pace to deliver another banner year for Western Canadian grain

Company announces third round of Commercial Fleet Integration Program for shippers of Western Canada grain, oilseeds and specialty crops

MONTREAL, March 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Seven months into the current 2014-15 crop year, CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) continues its record-setting pace of Western Canadian grain shipments. As of the last week of February 2015, CN has moved on average approximately 4,700 grain hoppers weekly in Western Canada – a full 21 per cent more than during the same period of the record 100-year crop year of 2013-14.

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said: "We are proud of CN's grain-hauling achievements, setting new records basically every month over the last year. Our commitment to deliver service to Canadian grain growers is solid, and the result is a meaningful contribution to keep the end-to-end grain supply chain in sync in Western Canada.

"Contrary to claims recently made by the new Ag Transport Coalition that CN is somehow failing to meet demand, we know we're responding very efficiently to all the demand from our customers. The facts are clear, when we compare our shipments with all valid car orders, our wait-list stands at less than 2,000 orders, just a few days' worth of car supply. And we would have the hopper car capacity to handle more grain right now if the waterfront terminal capacity was more fluid on the West Coast." (1)

Last week marked one year since the first Government of Canada Order-in-Council (OIC) that imposed minimum grain-hauling requirements on major railways. In the 12-month period since then, CN's cumulative tonnage of Western grain has exceeded its mandated volumes by close to 2.5 million metric tonnes, or 10 per cent.

CN has consistently said that minimum mandates were unnecessary for it to move record grain volumes. Indeed, CN has delivered as promised on its pledge of strong performance to Ottawa last winter, and believes the OIC should not be renewed when it expires on March 28, 2015.

CN today also announced the third round of its innovative Commercial Fleet Integration Program (CFIP). CFIP is for shippers who want to supply privately owned or leased covered hopper rail cars for integration into CN's Western Canadian grain car fleet. These shippers benefit from year-round supply from that fleet when shipping grain to commercial destinations in the United States and Canada. CN is prepared to integrate up to 1,200 private cars in this latest round, for which the bidding deadline is May 8, 2015.

Mongeau said: "The new CFIP continues CN's efforts to increase capacity for moving Western grain. It offers interested shippers, who are willing to bid to integrate cars into our fleet, with priority in our car order confirmation and service planning processes. It's a step forward for the grain logistics system and makes good business sense."

1) To see CN's Western Canadian Grain Update report, click on:  http://www.cn.ca/Update-on-Western-Canadian-Grain

Forward-Looking Statements 

Certain information included in this news release is "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 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 risk factors that could affect the 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 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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