CN announces major spending across North American operations

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by Emily Atkins

Canadian National Railway has announced $1.9 billion in investments across its network.

The most significant spending will be in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia, with smaller commitments planned in Saskatchewan and Illinois, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Tennessee.

The company said in a series of announcements that the spending will go towards technology, capacity, rolling stock units and decarbonization, as well as network improvements.

The biggest single plan is in Ontario, where CN will spend $430 million, largely on maintenance. The company says it will spend $365 million in Alberta, $355 million in Quebec, $390 million in B.C., $185 million in Saskatchewan, $40 million in New Brunswick, and $15 million in Nova Scotia. South of the border, it plans $30 million worth of upgrades in Tennessee and $150 million in Illinois.

Ontario and Quebec business groups welcomed CN’s plans for decarbonization and infrastructure improvements.  “The Ontario Chamber of Commerce applauds our member, CN, for making such a significant investment in the province. With continued strains on global supply chains, we welcome CN’s work to strengthen domestic competitiveness and supply chain resilience,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

“We note that the $335 million in investments announced also include a portion for decarbonization initiatives and for bolstering the safety of their railway infrastructure, which we applaud. For the FCCQ and the network of chambers of commerce, this improved access to responsible freight transportation services is critical to encouraging the transition to new ESG business practices,” said Charles Milliard, president and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (the Quebec Chamber of Commerce).

The railway detailed plans to track and tie replacements, rebuilding level crossings along with maintenance on bridges, culverts, signal systems, and other track infrastructure.

The company did not offer details on the decarbonization and technology investments it plans to make.