CN has announced plans to invest C$1.7 billion in 2011 to maintain a safe and fluid railway network, to grow the business efficiently and to continue to provide customers with a high level of service.
Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said: “CN is focused on running a safe, sustainable railway and growing our business profitably at low incremental cost. We are pursuing this agenda through infrastructure investments, strengthening ties with our customers, and innovative service improvements. Our service innovations include ‘first-mile/last-mile’ initiatives that respond to customer needs at origin and destination, and supply chain collaboration that emphasizes an end-to-end view of service quality.
“CN’s capital spending program is critical to these safety, growth and service objectives. In the last five years, CN spent almost C$8 billion on capital improvements. Such investments serve to build a quality network that, in turn, supports economic growth across Canada and the United States.”
Approximately C$1 billion of CN’s 2011 capital investment program will be targeted on track infrastructure to maintain safe railway operations and to improve the productivity and fluidity of its rail network. This includes replacement of rail, ties and other track materials and bridge improvements, as well as rail-line improvements on the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company (EJ&E) that CN acquired in 2009. The EJ&E addresses the “missing link” for CN in Chicago, connecting its five rail lines entering the city; full integration of the EJ&E will result in improved reliability and service.
CN’s infrastructure envelope includes funds for strategic initiatives across the system and additional network improvements in western and eastern Canada.
Equipment spending, which is intended to improve the quality of the fleet to meet customer requirements and includes the acquisition of new fuel-efficient locomotives as well as new freight cars, is targeted to reach approximately C$200 million in 2011.
CN also expects to spend approximately C$500 million on facilities to grow the business, including transloads and distribution centers to serve off-line customers; new information technology to support operational and service excellence and other projects to increase productivity.