EDMONTON, March 18 /CNW Telbec/ - CN (TSX:CNR) (NYSE: CNI) announced today
plans to invest approximately C$430 million in rail infrastructure projects in
Western Canada this year to maintain a safe railway and improve the
productivity and fluidity of its network.
CN's capital spending in its Western Region is targeted at replacement of
rail, ties and other track materials, and bridge improvements. The Company is
also investing in extended sidings and terminal improvements to grow its
business and permit more efficient movement of traffic in Western Canada,
including CN's line to the new Port of Prince Rupert container terminal, as
well as upgrading of its recently acquired Athabasca Northern Railway (ANY).
The ANY terminates near Fort McMurray, Alta., and is an important rail link to
the booming oilsands region of Northern Alberta. In addition, CN will continue
upgrading other former Northern Alberta short lines purchased in 2006.
Jim Vena, senior vice-president, Western Region, said: "Our investments
in rail infrastructure will ensure plant quality and safety, build capacity
and speed, and improve the productivity of our operations."
CN plans to make its spending work harder in 2008 through improved
work-block planning and greater labour productivity, made possible through
changes negotiated in the four-year labour contract recently ratified by the
United Steelworkers, which represents approximately 3,000 CN track maintenance
employees in Canada.
Day-to-day rail inspection and maintenance programs will 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 labour efficiency as a result of better information
availability, and increase material and machine utilization.
CN's Western Region capital program is part of a plan to invest
approximately C$1.5 billion company-wide in 2008, of which more than
C$1.1 billion will be focused on track infrastructure. Equipment spending,
targeted to reach approximately C$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 C$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.
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