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CN investing over $500M in British Columbia, Quebec

Network improvements, decarbonization initiatives among projects

A CN train. (Photo: Shutterstock/LukasKrbec)

Canadian railway CN intends to invest CA$725 million (US$560 million) in capital projects in British Columbia and Quebec.

CN (NYSE: CNI) says the investments will go toward network improvements, technology, rolling stock units and decarbonization initiatives. CN also expects to conduct maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other elements of track infrastructure.

In British Columbia, CN will spend $390 million to replace 111 miles of rail track, install approximately 126,000 railroad ties and rebuild 37 road crossing services.

CN operates 2,814 railroad route miles in the province, and the railway has invested more than $1.8 billion in the last five years there.

In Quebec, CN plans to invest $335 million in improvements in Quebec, including replacing 27 miles of rail, installing more than 118,000 railroad ties and rebuilding 38 road crossing services. 

CN has spent more than $2.2 billion in Quebec. It operates 2,044 route miles in the province. 

CN’s investments “will help improve the fluidity of our rail network against the unprecedented disruptions to service we have seen in the last two years, and is good news for Canadians,” said Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra in a release.

Separately, CN’s investments in Quebec come as the Port of Montreal announced last Tuesday that the port authorities of Montreal, Québec and Trois-Rivières would be creating a working group to identify joint initiatives on the St. Lawrence River. The three ports handle approximately 72.4 million tons annually of general cargo, containers and solid and liquid bulk.

The Port of Montreal also announced in May that vessel operator CMA-CGM has started service between Montreal and Northern Europe.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, CN and the city of Burnaby in British Columbia said in May that rail upgrades along the Burnaby rail corridor were complete. The improvements include upgrades to the Thornton Tunnel, reducing by half the time that trains are idle in Burnaby because they are waiting for the tunnel to vent. This will improve access to the North Shore port terminals, they said.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.