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CN investing more than US$95 million to expand and strengthen Louisiana’s rail infrastructure in 2019

HOMEWOOD, Ill., April 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CN (CNR.TO) (CNI) said today it plans to invest more than US$95 million in Louisiana in 2019 to strengthen the company’s rail network across the state.

“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 Derek Taylor, Vice-President of CN’s Southern Region. “This year, we are continuing to invest to boost capacity and network resiliency and to meet growing traffic on our corridors across Louisiana.”

The Louisiana investments are part of CN’s 2019 record US$2.9-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 US$5.7-billion capital investment.

“These major capital investments, especially the rebuilding of the critical infrastructure across the Bonnet Carré Spillway, are a sign of CN’s commitment to economic growth and trade in Louisiana,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “CN’s infrastructure in Louisiana connects the Port of New Orleans to markets across the continent and links some of our state’s most important businesses in Baton Rouge and the River Parishes to their suppliers and customers. CN’s private infrastructure investments support good middle-class jobs and further solidify Louisiana’s economic competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

CN is currently deploying important safety enhancing technologies across its network, such as the Autonomous Track Inspection Program, Distributed Air Cars, Automated Inspection Portals, and the Positive Train Control System. 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.

Planned expansion projects include:

  • Investments for the development of the Positive Train Control System; and
  • Multi-year project to rebuild the two-mile-long bridge over the spillway near the southwest shore of Lake Pontchartrain.             

Maintenance program highlights include:             

  • Replacement of more than 15 miles of rail;
  • Installation of approximately 55,000 new railroad ties;
  • Rebuilds of 18 road crossing surfaces; and,
  • Maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

Louisiana in numbers:

  • Capital investments: approximately US$240 million in the last five years
  • Employees: more than 320
  • Railroad route miles operated: 240
  • Community partnerships: US$26,000 in 2018
  • Local spending: US$29 million in 2018
  • Total taxes paid by CN: more than US$6 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 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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