CN to invest $182m in Quebec rail improvements

Canadian National Railway (CN) will invest nearly C$245m ($182.64m) to strengthen its rail network in Quebec province in 2019, in order to improve safety and facilitate efficient service.

The investments are part of the Canadian rail firm’s C$3.9bn ($2.9bn) capital strategy to support growth from all commodity segments, including consumer goods, grain, agricultural and forest.

The national rail company will spend C$7.4bn ($5.51bn) on various projects over the next two years.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Agriculture and Agri-Food federal Minister Jean-Claude Poissant said: “These major investments will strengthen rail transportation in Quebec, as well as the role of Greater Montreal as a hub for intermodal transportation in Eastern Canada.

“In addition, the investments will help facilitate the transit of agricultural and food products between regions, while improving safety.”

Currently, the rail operator is installing safety enhancing technologies across its network, including the Autonomous Track Inspection Program, Distributed Air Cars and Automated Inspection Portals.

As part of its maintenance programme, CN will install more than 42 miles of rail and 155,000 railway ties, reconstruct 34 road crossing surfaces, and carry out maintenance work on culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

Quebec Forest Industry Council president and CEO Denis Lebel said: “Our members believe the investments CN announced today are a step in the right direction, and I am delighted. Furthermore, we are pleased that CN is making the necessary investments to improve the efficiency and safety of its Quebec network.”

CN’s rail network in Quebec spans more than 2,000 miles and serves various regions, including the Port of Montreal. Located in downtown Montreal, the company’s headquarters employs nearly 2,000 people.