CN Rail sets regional spending plans
Published: March 18, 2008
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 18 - Canadian National Railway Co
laid out its regional spending plans on Tuesday for more than C$1.0
billion ($1 billion) in track and infrastructure work planned for North
America this year.
CN Rail, which had already pegged its total 2008 capital spending,
including new locomotives, at C$1.5 billion, said it will spend C$430
million in Western Canada, and C$300 million in both Eastern Canada and
the United States.
The money will be used to repair and upgrade track, bridges and
switching yards, which the company said will increase its operational
efficiency. CN also plans to spend some C$250 million on facilities such
as distribution centers.
CN said Tuesday's figures included spending on the Athabasca Northern
Railway in Alberta that it purchased late last year, but not for the
Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway in the United States that it is in the
process of buying.
CN has proposed to spend $100 million to upgrade the Chicago-area EJ&E,
but the planned purchase has run into political opposition from some
local communities upset about a potential increase in train traffic.
CN's Chief Executive Hunter Harrison complained on Monday that opponents
of the $300 million deal were being unrealistic in their demands for
what the railway should do to reduce potential delays at grade
The company announced in December it would spend C$135 over the next
three years to rebuild the 325 km (200 mile) Athabasca Northern, which
was threatened with abandonment because of deteriorating track.
CN's capital spending plan for 2007 included about C$800 million in
track and bridge replacement and C$200 million on projects such as
siding expansions in Western Canada and rebuilding a freight yard in
($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Allan Dowd; Editing by Bernadette