MIRAMICHI, NB, Jan. 24, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Province of New
Brunswick and CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) have reached an agreement to
preserve rail freight service on the line in northern New Brunswick.
"Freight rail is a critical mode of transportation for industries in
northern New Brunswick, and it is a vital lifeline for the jobs and
communities that rely on these industries," said Premier David Alward.
"Our investment in the rehabilitation of two sections of railway line
ensures companies in northern New Brunswick can continue to ship their
goods to market efficiently and explore new opportunities for growth."
Premier Alward joined Sean Finn, CN executive vice-president, corporate
services, and chief legal officer, other government officials and
stakeholders for the announcement in Miramichi today.
Under the agreement, the Province of New Brunswick will invest up to $25
million in rail infrastructure improvements to the Newcastle
subdivision. CN will in turn spend a comparable amount to maintain and
operate the line, ensuring continued rail freight service for a 15-year
period on the northern and southern sections of the rail line: between
Irvco, N.B., and Nepisquit Junction, N.B., in the north and between
Catamount, N.B., and Nelson Junction in the south, where there are
active rail freight customers.
The province's investment will be used to rehabilitate and upgrade the
rail line to the operating standards required to efficiently and
cost-effectively handle current and projected traffic. The work will
commence in the spring of 2014.
CN, the province and local businesses will continue to work together to
increase freight traffic in future years, with benefits to be shared
between the two partners.
Finn said: "We thank the provincial government for working with us over
the last year to develop this agreement that will preserve rail freight
service in northern New Brunswick. This agreement would not have been
possible without the commitment of both parties to continuing
investments and to the growth of rail freight traffic in the region."
CN will seek to discontinue rail operations on the 44-mile middle
section of the Newcastle subdivision, between Nelson Junction (mile
62) and Nepisquit Junction (mile 106), due to the significant
investments required to maintain the line and the lack of both
originating and terminating freight traffic on that section.
Before this part of the line can be discontinued, however, it will be
offered for sale in early February to private interests and then to
municipal, provincial and federal levels of government, as per the
provisions of the Canada Transportation Act. They will have a
five-month window to submit offers to purchase the middle section,
should there be a desire to maintain rail service on the segment.
CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately 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.
For further information:
Public and Government Affairs
For the Government of New Brunswick