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CN Rail investing $445M across B.C. focusing on economic growth

Projects include track infrastructure improvements
A CN train in British Columbia. (via CN)

CN announced today (June 29) its investing $445 million across British Columbia in 2020 with specifics focus on safety, capacity, reduced emissions and economic growth.

Investments are set to include expansion projects that will add track in yards to handle growing traffic, new sidings as well as continued investments in multi-year initiatives to increase capacity at the Port of Vancouver and at the Port of Prince Rupert in collaboration with the Government of Canada, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The maintenance program will focus on the replacement of rail and ties and maintenance work on level crossings, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

“We take our essential role in the North American economy seriously and these investments in British Columbia are a key part of our strategy to support growth. The Company remains committed to help enable supply chains that fuel British Columbia’s growth as we are a critical part of getting everyday goods to markets and consumers,” says James Thompson, Vice-President, Western Region at CN in a news release.

“Safety is a core value at CN and by investing in the maintenance and expansion of our track and capacity, we are providing customers with a safe and reliable solution at a time when fluid supply chains are more critical than ever.”

Planned expansion projects include:

  • Construction of 3.5 miles of double-track between Vancouver and Edmonton, near Glen Valley
  • Building new sidings on the Edmonton to Prince Rupert corridor to increase capacity for growing demand
  • Investments to continue multi-year infrastructure projects that will increase capacity at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert in collaboration with the Government of Canada, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Prince Rupert Port Authority

Maintenance program highlights include:

  • More than 100 miles of rail replacement
  • Installation of over 209,000 new railroad ties
  • Installation of over 46,000 concrete ties
  • Rebuilds of 22 road crossing surfaces
  • Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems, and other track infrastructure

“CN is a transportation lifeline for people and businesses throughout B.C. This investment is great news for the 2,400 CN employees in B.C., their families, and the many more who will indirectly benefit from these important upgrades. CN is a key part of the post-COVID-19 economy where the export of B.C.-made goods will be so crucial,” says Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, in the release.

CN says this investment will create greater capacity, which supports reductions in its customer’s transportation supply chain GHG emissions, by encouraging the use of rail for long haul needs.

This reduces emissions, traffic congestion, accidents and burdens on public transportation infrastructure as one freight train can replace over 300 trucks from roads. Moving freight by rail instead of truck reduces GHG emissions by 75 per cent.

The company says it will continue to deploy important safety-enhancing technologies across its network, such as the Autonomous Track Inspection Program, Distributed Air Cars and Automated Inspection Portals.


Hanna Petersen

About the Author: Hanna Petersen

Born and raised in Prince George, Hanna Petersen is a graduate of UNBC. She then abandoned her hometown for the East Coast, graduating with a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in the process.
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