CN investing $310 million in Ontario focused on safety and environment

Ontario Construction News staff writer

CN will invest about $310 million across Ontario this year, focused on intermodal facilities, the replacement of rail and ties, as well as the maintenance of bridges, level crossings, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

“We take our essential role in the North American economy seriously and these investments in Ontario are a key part of our strategy to support growth,” said Derek Taylor, Vice-President, Eastern Region at CN. 

“The company remains committed to help enable supply chains that fuel Ontario’s growth as we are a critical part of getting everyday goods to markets and consumers. 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.”

The investments 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. 

“Remaining committed to supporting Canadian businesses, our government continues to invest in Canada’s economy to encourage economic growth. We are pleased to see companies such as CN do their share by investing in improving safety, growing its capacity and enabling trade through a safe and reliable rail network,” said federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

“Ontario’s economy requires a fluid rail network to support the movement of consumer goods as well as vehicles and mining products. CN’s investments in the province will enable new supply chains and support existing ones.”

Moving freight by rail instead of truck reduces GHG emissions by 75%. The Company will continue to deploy important safety enhancing technologies in Ontario, such as the Autonomous Track Inspection Program, and Automated Inspection Portals.

Maintenance program highlights include:             

  • Replacement of more than 60 miles of rail
  • Installation of approximately 195,000 new railroad ties
  • Rebuilds of 86 road crossing surfaces
  • Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems, and other track infrastructure

Ontario in numbers:

  • Capital investments: Approximately $1.4 billion in the last five years
  • Employees: approximately 3,970
  • Railroad route miles operated: 2,541
  • Community partnerships: $5.2 million in 2019
  • Local spending: $2.8 billion in 2019
  • Cash taxes paid: $145 million in 2019             

Large volumes of traffic are handled in Ontario, much of it at MacMillan Yard – CN’s largest rail classification facility and our only hump yard in Eastern Canada. Mac Yard also has railcar and locomotive repair shops. Intermodal containers are handled at CN’s biggest terminal in Brampton. 

The Toronto area also has a distribution facility for automobiles, one for forest products, two for metals, a logistics park, and two CargoFlo bulk handling facilities. In addition, CN has forest products and metals distribution centres in Brockville, a forest products distribution centre in Atikokan, and an automotive distribution centre in Windsor.

CN has proposed to build a $250-million Milton Logistics Hub that will create over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. The project is undergoing a comprehensive independent environmental assessment and regulatory review, including participation of local communities and Aboriginal groups.

“CN’s investment will improve the safety and efficiency of its operations in Ontario. Keeping Ontario’s supply chains open and moving has never been more important and will continue to be essential in ensuring that we are prepared for the future and into our economic recovery,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade.


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