CN has announced a major investment for 2019 to expand and strengthen the rail network in the province.
Sean Finn, CN’s Executive Vice President says they are investing more than $245 million dollars in rail infrastructure in Saskatchewan.
"That’s up $35 million dollars more than last year. That’s investments within the Province when it comes to track capacity and other investments in the rail line itself; it does not include more locomotives or cars."
He notes the planned expansion includes the construction of about 35 miles of double track near Atwater, Fenwood, Biggar, and Clavet.
"If you have double track you can move your trains more fluidly through the network. We’re also going to upgrade probably 66 miles of rail itself which will be changed out. New railway ties which is normal maintenance but also ensure that we operate the railway safely and we’re also going to redo 21 road crossings in the Province of Saskatchewan this year."
Finn says the goal is to invest in additional capacity and resilience in the corridor from Edmonton to Winnipeg.
"This time of year Thunder Bay is closed so the grain wants to move West to Vancouver. Part of our job is making sure that we don’t just get to Vancouver, but the port is fluid so we can move the grain through and get the cars back to the Prairies as quickly as possible. So, cycle time is important also."
He notes CN’s rail network in Saskatchewan connects agricultural customers across the Prairies to major terminals, port facilities, and global markets.