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CN Invests $520 Million In Its US Assets

Canadian National Railway Company (NYSE: CNI) expects to spend roughly a half-billion dollars on infrastructure improvements across its U.S. network. So far, CN has announced approximately $520 million in capital expenditures across eight states. 

Benzinga · -

Canadian National Railway Company (NYSE:CNI) expects to spend roughly a half-billion dollars on infrastructure improvements across its U.S. network.

So far, CN has announced approximately $520 million in capital expenditures across eight states. 

"We take our essential role in the North American economy seriously and these investments … are a key part of our strategy to support growth," said Derek Taylor, vice president for CN's eastern region.

Here are the projects and funding announced by CN over the last week:

Minnesota

CN expects to invest $25 million in the state. The work will include replacing more than 10 miles of rail; installing over 4,700 new railroad ties; rebuilding 10 road crossing surfaces; and conducting maintenance on docks, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

CN has invested more than $175 million in Minnesota's infrastructure in the past five years. The railway operates 46 route miles in the state.

CN considers Minnesota the "home" of the railway's iron ore supply chain, with taconite pellets from the Minnesota Iron Range mines traveling to CN's docks in Duluth and Two Harbors. From there, the pellets are loaded onto Great Lakes ships for transport to the lower Great Lakes, CN said.

The railway also operates an intermodal terminal in Duluth, a rail classification yard and railcar/locomotive repair shop in Proctor, a yard near the Two Harbors iron ore dock, and the Duluth iron ore dock.

Tennessee

CN plans to spend $30 million in Tennessee this year. It has invested more than $205 million in the past five years in the state.

Funding will go to replace 7 miles of rail, install over 25,000 new railroad ties, rebuild 17 road crossing surfaces and conduct infrastructure maintenance work.

CN operates 173 route miles in the state, which CN calls its "gateway to the South." Assets include the yard in Memphis, which serves as a major handling point and hub for CN's U.S. operations south of Chicago. The yard is one of two hump yards in the U.S., and it serves as an interchange with four other Class I railroads, CN said. Memphis is also the location of a railcar/locomotive repair shop and an intermodal terminal at Frank Pigeon Industrial Park. CN also serves an "industrial core" in Memphis known as President's Island.

Illinois

CN plans to spend $165 million on infrastructure projects in Illinois, including the renewal of the Chicago St. Charles Airline Bridge and various maintenance projects. 

The railway has spent more than $1.3 billion in the state in the past five years. CN operates 1,253 route miles in the state.

CN's U.S. headquarters and a training center are located in Homewood, a Chicago suburb.

Iowa

CN is investing $35 million in Iowa in 2020. It has spent more than $200 million in assets in the state in the past five years.

The railway operates 574 route miles in Iowa. Maintenance projects this year include the installation of over 95,000 new railroad ties and the rebuild of 19 road crossing surfaces, among other maintenance work.

CN operates its subsidiary, the Chicago, Central & Pacific Railroad, in Iowa. The subsidiary's footprint spans from the Missouri River in the west to the Mississippi River in the east. Commodities shipped include food, machinery, electrical equipment, chemical products and primary metals, among other products. CN also ships ethanol volumes, with ethanol plants located between Dubuque and Sioux City and Council Bluffs.

Mississippi

CN expects to spend $50 million in Mississippi. It has spent more than $365 million in the state in the past five years.

The railway plans to replace 12 miles of rail, install over 125,000 new railroad ties, rebuild 31 road crossing surfaces and conduct other maintenance work. CN operates 575 route miles in Mississippi.

CN's operations in Mississippi include a rail yard in Jackson, which serves "as a hub for petroleum headed to the western part of the Magnolia State, coal moving east to Alabama, grain shipping south to the Gulf Coast for export and chemical products headed north to the Midwest," CN said. CN also has an intermodal terminal in Jackson as well as an automotive distribution facility serving the Nissan assembly plant in Canton.

Louisiana

CN plans to spend $60 million in Louisiana this year. It has invested more than $280 million in the past five years in the state.

Capital projects include a multiyear plan to rebuild the McComb Spilway Bridge. CN also plans to replace 6 miles of rail, install over 20,000 new railroad ties, rebuild 21 road crossing surfaces and conduct other maintenance work. CN operates 227 route miles in the state. 

CN's infrastructure in Louisiana includes yards in Baton Rouge, Geismar and Harrahan. The Harrahan Yard, also known as the Mays Yard, has interchange ability with five other Class I railroads. CN also has an intermodal facility in New Orleans, and it has access to the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal and the Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal.

CN's major yards are in Baton Rouge, Geismar and Harrahan (Mays Yard) outside of New Orleans. At Mays Yard, CN connects to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, which links the city's six Class I railroads. CN also has an intermodal facility in New Orleans. The Port of New Orleans has an intermodal terminal adjacent to its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, providing on-dock access for all rail shipments. The Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal is a modern, efficient transfer terminal, offering on-dock access and helping to grow CN's container volumes.

Michigan

CN expects to spend $55 million in Michigan in 2020.

Projects include replacing approximately 5 miles of rail, installing over 105,000 new railroad ties, rebuilding 24 road crossing surfaces and conducting infrastructure maintenance.

CN operates 904 route miles in Michigan. The railway has invested more than $610 million in the state in the past five years. 

In the Lower Peninsula, CN has rail yards in Battle Creek, Flint and Port Huron in Flat Rock, while rail yards in the Upper Peninsula include those in Escanaba and Gladstone. 

Wisconsin

CN expects to invest $100 million in Wisconsin to support projects such as a new auto compound in New Richmond and infrastructure and vessel maintenance.

CN plans to replace more than 9 miles of rail, install over 60,000 new railroad ties, rebuild 48 road crossing surfaces and conduct infrastructure maintenance. 

The railway operates 1,428 route miles in Wisconsin. CN has intermodal terminals in Chippewa Falls and Arcadia. It has invested approximately $970 million in the state in the past five years. 

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

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