Canadian National Railway (CN) is set to invest approximatelt C$500m ($408.11m) in infrastructure improvements to its Western Canada feeder rail lines in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
This multi-year programme will see significant upgrades to these feeder lines that handle rising volumes of industrial products, natural resources, and energy-related commodities.
Major investments in Western Canada are aimed to increase the capacity and safety of its rail infrastructure and also to allow the company to continue to grow at low incremental cost in support of Canada’s trade, CN stated.
CN president and CEO Claude Mongeau said: "CN is building for the future with large capital investments in long-term safety and capacity improvements to ensure it continues to play its role as a true backbone of the economy.
"We want to provide our customers with the capacity for continued efficient freight transportation services that increase their competitiveness in North American and global markets, as well as ensure our rail infrastructure is as safe as possible."
CN is expected to allocate C$100m ($81.62m) for work on northern Alberta branch lines this year.
This will result in infrastructure upgrades and safety improvements, including heavier rail, crushed rock ballast and new ties.
These enhancements will make sure that the network can efficiently accommodate future freight volume growth in the Peace River region, CN said.
CN’s freight volumes in Western Canada have increased by more than 50% in the past five years.
In order support this growth, CN has also invested in its Edmonton-Winnipeg main line corridor, installing sections of double track, extending sidings to accommodate longer more efficient trains, and enhancing major classification yards.