CN announced Friday that, as part of its strategic investments to support growing demand and enable supply chains, it plans to invest approximately $305 million across Alberta in 2020.
The railway company said the investments will include expansion projects such as the construction of double track to allow more trains to pass on CN’s mainline. The maintenance program will focus on the replacement of rail and ties, as well as maintenance work on level crossings, bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.
“We take our essential role in the North American economy seriously and these investments in Alberta are a key part of our strategy to support growth. The Company remains committed to help enable supply chains that fuel Alberta’s growth as we are a critical part of getting everyday goods to markets and consumers. Safety is a core value at CN and by investing in the maintenance and expansion of our track and capacity, we are providing customers with a safe and reliable solution at a time when fluid supply chains are more critical than ever,” said James Thompson, Vice-President, Western Region at CN, in a news release.
“Remaining committed to supporting Canadian businesses, our government continues to invest in Canada’s economy to encourage economic growth. We are pleased to see companies such as CN do their share by investing in improving safety, growing its capacity and enabling trade through a safe and reliable rail network. Canada’s natural resources, including grain and energy products from Alberta, need reliable and safe rail networks to support existing jobs and create new ones and these investments support that need,” said
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada.
CN said its investments will create greater capacity, which supports reductions in its customer’s transportation supply chain GHG emissions, by encouraging the use of rail for long haul needs. This reduces emissions, traffic congestion, accidents and burdens on public transportation infrastructure as one freight train can replace over 300 trucks from roads. Moving freight by rail instead of truck reduces GHG emissions by 75 per cent, it added. It said it will also continue to invest in important safety-enhancing technologies, such as the Autonomous Track Inspection Program, and Automated Inspection Portals.
Planned expansion projects include the construction of about five miles of double track between Vancouver and Edmonton, near Hinton.
Maintenance program highlights include:
- Replacement of approximately 71 miles of rail
- Installation of over 210,000 new railroad ties
- Rebuilds of 28 road crossing surfaces
- Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems, and other track infrastructure
Alberta in numbers:
- Capital investments: More than $ 1.4 billion in the last five years
- Employees: approximately 2,891
- Railroad route miles operated: 2,522
- Community partnerships: $1.4 million in 2019
- Local spending: $800 million in 2019
- Cash taxes paid: $125 million in 2019