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CN investing $245 million in Quebec’s rail infrastructure and in technology in 2019

MONTREAL, March 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CN (CNR.TO) (CNI) said today it plans to invest approximately $245 million across Quebec in 2019 to strengthen the Company’s rail network throughout the province, improving safety and supporting efficient service.

“Following a record capital program in 2018, CN has been able to take on more traffic from different commodity sectors based on contracts with our customers,” said Michael Farkouh, Vice-President of CN’s Eastern Region. “This year, we are continuing to invest to boost capacity and network resiliency and to meet growing traffic on our corridors across Quebec.”

The Quebec investments are part of CN’s 2019 record $3.9-billion capital investment focused on enabling growth from all commodity segments, including consumer goods, grain, agricultural, forest, and energy products from all of our customers, safely and efficiently. Over two years, CN will have made a $7.4-billion capital investment.

“These major investments will strengthen rail transportation in Quebec as well as the role of Greater Montreal as a hub for intermodal transportation in Eastern Canada. In addition, the investments will help facilitate the transit of agricultural and food products between regions, while improving safety,” said Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

CN is currently deploying important safety enhancing technologies across its network, such as the Autonomous Track Inspection Program, Distributed Air Cars and Automated Inspection Portals. These innovations, combined with CN’s investments in locomotives, capacity, infrastructure, and train crews, will support the safe and efficient movement of our customers’ goods to their end markets.

“Our members believe the investments CN announced today are a step in the right direction, and I am delighted. Furthermore, we are pleased that CN is making the necessary investments to improve the efficiency and safety of its Quebec network. A greater flow in moving commodities means economic development for our industry,” said Denis Lebel, President and CEO of the Quebec Forest Industry Council.

Maintenance program highlights include:

  • Installation of more than 42 miles of new rail;
  • Installation of more than 155,000 railroad ties;
  • Rebuilds of 34 road crossing surfaces; and
  • Maintenance work on culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

CN’s Quebec rail network stretches over approximately 2,000 miles and serves various regions, including the Port of Montreal. The Company’s headquarters, located in downtown Montreal, is home to close to 2,000 employees.

Quebec in numbers:

  • Capital investments: more than $1.5 billion in the last five years
  • Employees: approximately 3,900
  • Railroad route miles operated: 2,018
  • Community partnerships: $2.6 million in 2018
  • Local spending: $2.1 billion in 2018
  • Cash taxes paid by CN: $209 million in 2018

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “assumes,” “outlook,” “plans,” “targets,” or other similar words.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Important risk factors that could affect the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions; industry competition; inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations; changes in fuel prices; legislative and/or regulatory developments; compliance with environmental laws and regulations; actions by regulators; increases in maintenance and operating costs; security threats; reliance on technology and related cybersecurity risk; trade restrictions or other changes to international trade arrangements; transportation of hazardous materials; various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, fires, floods and earthquakes; climate change; labor negotiations and disruptions; environmental claims; uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation; risks and liabilities arising from derailments; timing and completion of capital programs; and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to Management’s Discussion and Analysis in CN’s annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F, filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators and available on CN’s website, for a description of major risk factors.

Forward-looking statements reflect information as of the date on which they are made. CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information about CN, visit the Company’s website at www.cn.ca.

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