CHICAGO, IL, March 18 /CNW Telbec/ - CN (NYSE: CNI) (TSX:CNR) announced
today plans to invest more than US$300 million in rail infrastructure projects
in the United States this year to maintain a safe railway and improve the
productivity and fluidity of its network.
CN's capital spending in its Southern Region is targeted at replacement
of rail, ties and other track materials, and bridge improvements. The Company
will also complete the multi-year US$100-million upgrade of Johnston Yard in
Memphis in 2008, and will invest in other terminals and new and extended
sidings to permit more efficient operations.
Gordon Trafton, senior vice-president, Southern Region, said: "Our
investments in rail infrastructure will ensure plant quality and safety for
our customers and the communities in which we operate, improve rail
productivity and position us to take advantage of growth opportunities."
CN plans to make its spending work harder in 2008. Day-to-day rail
inspection and maintenance programs will also benefit from the roll out of the
first phase of CN's Precision Engineering program. The mobile computer system
at the heart of this initiative will help CN manage engineering processes more
efficiently, reduce engineering related delays to trains, improve labor
efficiency as a result of better information availability, and increase
material and machine utilization.
CN's Southern Region capital program is part of a plan to invest
approximately US$1.5 billion company-wide in 2008, of which more than
US$1.1 billion will be focused on track infrastructure. Equipment spending,
targeted to reach approximately US$140 million in 2008, will include the
acquisition of new fuel-efficient locomotives, as well as improvements to the
existing fleet. CN also expects to spend approximately US$250 million on
facilities to grow the business, including transloads and distribution
centers, information technology to improve service and operating efficiency,
and other projects to increase productivity.
Excluded from the 2008 capital spending program is CN's proposed
US$100-million upgrading plan for the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway (EJ&E).
CN announced in September 2007 an agreement to acquire the EJ&E for
US$300 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.
CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway
subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific
oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert,
B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key
metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth,
Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis,
St. Louis, 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.
For further information:
For further information: Mark Hallman (Media), Director, Communications,
Media, CN, (905) 669-3384; Robert Noorigian (Investment Community),
Vice-President, Investor Relations, CN, (514) 399-0052