Canadian National Railway Company (CN) is planning to invest C$2.9bn ($2bn) this year to strengthen network safety and efficiency, as well as grow its business.
The investment will be used in rail infrastructure maintenance and improvements, as well as new capacity, equipment and technology to increase network safety and efficiency, improve service and support future growth.
CN president and CEO Claude Mongeau said: “CN is investing for the long term and we are again planning a significant capital programme in 2016 to support a safe and fluid railway network, and to raise the bar on efficiency and customer service.
“Rail is critical to the North American economy, and our investments will allow the company to build on its long- term competitive advantage.”
“Despite the current uncertain economic environment, it is a good time to harden our infrastructure because we can do the work faster and at a better price.”
Of the total amount, about C$1.5bn ($b1n) will be used on track infrastructure, which will include the replacement of rail, ties and other track materials, bridge improvements, as well as various branch-line upgrades.
The company is allocating C$600m ($431m) in rolling stock equipment, which will generate available growth opportunities and improve the quality of its car fleet.
In order to manage future traffic volumes and further improve fuel efficiency, the company also expects to take delivery of 90 new high-horsepower locomotives.
This year, the company intends to invest C$400m ($287m) in a range of other major initiatives to drive productivity and to improve service for its customers.
Another C$400m ($287m) is being allocated for the implementation of positive train control (PTC) technology on portions of the company’s US rail network.
By the end of 2018, the company plans to install all the required technology hardware on about 3,500 route-miles of its network, with full PTC system operability achieved by the end of 2020, as required by US Federal Government safety legislation.
Mongeau further noted: “The strength of CN’s balance sheet enables us to sustain significant capital investments throughout business cycles.
“Rail is critical to the North American economy, and our investments will allow the company to build on its long-term competitive advantage.”