The centre, training CN employees across Canada, is the latest sign of the company's commitment to the Prairies
WINNIPEG, Sept. 9, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) today officially opened its new employee training centre in Winnipeg. The 100,000-square-foot facility is currently hosting 350-plus CN students from across Canada every week, with hands-on training for all key railway jobs.
Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer, said: "The opening of this state-of-the-art training centre is a cornerstone in CN's workforce renewal, which this year will see the hiring of more than 3,500 employees across our North American network.
"Our training campus in Winnipeg's Transcona neighbourhood - home to a major CN mechanical shop for more than a century -- will enhance our railroader training programs, and help us instill a strong safety culture in our new hires and reinforce it among current employees who are learning new skills or upgrading existing ones.
"The new Winnipeg training centre is also a symbol of the key role that Winnipeg and Manitoba play in CN's network. Winnipeg is the hub of our transcontinental network. All of CN's east-west, transcontinental traffic and our north-south cross border traffic are funneled through the city."
The new centre will offer courses for jobs ranging from conductor to car mechanic, and from track supervisor to signal maintainer. Employees will receive hands-on training in indoor learning laboratories with equipment such as locomotive simulators and dispatcher stations. Outdoor labs with dedicated rolling stock and other equipment for field training will also be a key focus.
CN has invested C$35 million in the Winnipeg training campus and continues to invest ahead of the curve in its Western Canada network to improve network resilience to meet customer demand. As part of that program, CN last year undertook a major program to upgrade to its Edmonton-Winnipeg corridor. At a cost of C$70 million, CN increased capacity on its principal main line between Edmonton and Winnipeg by extending sidings, double-tracking certain segments, and improving yards at Saskatoon and Winnipeg. In addition, CN spent C$30 million to improve its Prairie North Line, a secondary line that runs parallel to and north of the company's main corridor between Edmonton and Winnipeg. The second line acts as a detour route for the main corridor, providing flexibility and resilience to the network.
CN plans additional investments in its principal Edmonton-Winnipeg main line to expand capacity this year, as well as on expanding capacity on its Winnipeg-Chicago main line corridor.
CN has a continuing focus on employee training - it will formally open a second centralized training facility next month for United States employees adjacent to its Woodcrest Mechanical Shop in the Chicago suburb of Homewood, Ill.
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, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, 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.
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