Canadian National Railway (CN) is planning to acquire 2,200 new freight cars to meet traffic growth in across the country.
The company will also purchase 1,300 containers for grocery and consumer goods, 200 multi-purpose box cars for North American freight car pool and 317 multi-level cars for finished vehicle deliveries to major cities.
CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer Jean-Jacques Ruest said that the company is purchasing new freight cars and containers for a range of markets, including forest products, metals, minerals, coal, iron ore, steel, consumer goods, finished vehicles and grain.
"These fleet additions will help us grow in line with our customers’ demands and ensure CN has the right mix of modern, productive assets," Ruest said.
CN’s largest rolling stock order will be for 600 high-payload 60ft double-door box cars for forest products and metals traffic.
Other acquisitions include 558 high-capacity covered hoppers for exporting grain, 300 open wagons for coal exports and 232 wagons to carry pelletised iron ore from Minnesota to steel mills across the US.
"CN’s rolling stock acquisition strategy is responding to evolving market conditions and is intended to ensure reliable, predictable supply chains for our customers," said Ruest.
Out of the total rolling stock the company is acquiring, three-quarters will be additions, while a quarter will be purchased to replace older locomotives.
CN is also planning to invest C$12m ($12.1m) to expand its locomotive reliability centre (LRC) in Prince George, British Columbia, to meet the increase in freight traffic along Edmonton-Prince Rupert corridor.
CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer Keith Creel said: "The facility serviced locomotives for more than 9,000 CN trains that transited the city last year."
The investment will be used to increase floor space at the locomotive shop by 50% to nearly 50,000ft², which will allow the addition of four repair bays with pits to manage the forecast increase in locomotive inspections and repairs.
The company will also invest C$4m ($4.05) in 2012 to extend two key sidings north of Prince George on the line toward Chetwynd, British Columbia, to accommodate 10,000ft coal trains serving mines in northeastern part of the province.
Image: In 2012, CN, which has not announced its investment, will buy around 2,200 new freight cars as well as 1,300 new containers to support traffic growth. Photo: courtesy of CN.