SASKATOON, SASK. — The Canadian National (CN) Railway has announced it will invest approximately $210 million on its rail network in Saskatchewan.
Planned expansion projects include construction of 10 miles of double track east of Melville and new track capacity at CN’s Melville Yard; seven miles of double track west of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border; and 11 miles of double track near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.
Maintenance will include the replacement of 40 miles of rail, the installation of more than 180,000 new railroad ties and rebuilds of approximately 20 road crossing surfaces.
There will also be maintenance work on bridges.
“We are investing for the long haul with these projects to boost capacity and network resiliency. Our investments in new double track across the Prairies combined with new equipment and more people will help us deliver superior service to our grain, energy and other customers across the province and North America,” said CN western region vice-president Doug Ryhorchuk in a statement.
“Additionally, our substantial investments to renew our existing railway infrastructure underscores our commitment to operating safely.”
The investment in Saskatchewan’s rail assets are part of CN’s $3.4-billion capital program for 2018. The company has added hundreds of conductors this year and will focus on crews in Melville and other western Canadian terminals.
“This investment by CN into Saskatchewan is very welcome and will play a critical role in keeping Saskatchewan products moving. The new and enhanced rail lines, new cars, more people, and locomotives all mean our products will get to market faster to better serve our global clients. The importance of trade to our economy is clear and these investments show CN’s commitment to this province,” Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan said.
CN has also announced plans to acquire 1,000 new high-cube grain hopper cars over the next two years to renew aging equipment and address increasing annual crop yields.
“Moving grain from the Prairies to our customers in export markets is absolutely critical to western farmers. We’re pleased CN is making these essential infrastructure investments and improving their capacity, which will help ensure we can move our crops efficiently for not just the next harvest, but also for the larger future harvests in the years ahead,” said Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association president Jim Wickett.