Canadian railway company CN has unveiled a C$3.2bn ($2.58bn) capital programme for 2018 in order to focus on important capacity projects, as well as continue the funding of key infrastructure maintenance projects to improve safety across its network.

The total investment is noted to be nearly C$500m ($403m) higher than last year’s figure.

CN president and CEO Luc Jobin said: “CN is investing more than ever before in the safety, efficiency and resiliency of our network.

“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.”

"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."

The company will invest nearly C$1.6bn ($1.29bn) into track and railway infrastructure maintenance to increase operational safety.

The scope of work includes the replacement of 2.1 million rail ties and 600 miles of track, as well as building, bridge and general track maintenance works.

CN is expected to spend almost C$400m ($322.4m) on the acquisition of equipment, including new high-horsepower locomotives.

An additional C$800m ($645m) will also be invested in various initiatives to improve capacity and enable growth, including investments in yards and intermodal terminals.

The funding will also be used to procure new information technology to enhance safety performance, as well as customer service and other programmes.

In addition, the capacity and equipment investments also cover the delivery of the first 60 new GE locomotives as part of a three-year order for a total of 200 new units.

The investment package also includes double tracking and siding extensions along the West Coast to Chicago corridors.

Furthermore, the company intends to invest around C$400m ($322.4m) to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) systems across 3,500mi of its US network.