Freight operator Canadian National Railway (CN) has announced a record C$3.2 billion (∼€2.08 billion) for major infrastructure projects in 2018 to meet a growing demand for rail freight.
President and CEO Luc Jobin said the programme will see CN invest more than it ever has before in network safety, efficiency and resiliency.
For the third year running, CN plans to invest approximately C$1.6 billion (∼€1.04 billion) on track and railway infrastructure maintenance, including the replacement of 2.1 million rail ties and more than 600 miles of rail, plus work on bridges and other track maintenance.
Approximately C$400 million (∼€260 million) is expected to be spent on equipment, including the acquisition of 60 new GE locomotives in 2017 as part of a three-year order of 200 units.
In addition, around C$400 million (∼€260 million) is due to be spent in 2018 on the implementation of positive train control (PTC) along 3,500 route miles of its network in the US. In total CN said it plans to invest US$1.4 billion (∼€1.12 billion) on PTC by 2020.
A further C$800 million (∼€521 million) will go towards initiatives to increase capacity and enable growth, such as track infrastructure expansion and in intermodal terminals, as well as on technology to improve safety performance, operational efficiency and customer service.
Luc added: “These record investments, a substantial portion of which will go to new capacity and growth projects, will improve our network fluidity, allowing us to deliver superior service to meet our customers’ growing freight volumes.”