CN to purchase 350 lumber cars to meet growing demand in forest products business

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| Source: Canadian National Railway
multilang-release

HAMILTON, Ontario, May 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CN (TSX:CNR) (NYSE:CNI) today announced it will buy 350 centrebeam cars to serve growing demand from lumber producing customers across its North American network. 

“We are investing to move the economy as we put the rolling stock, infrastructure and people in place to serve the growing needs of our valued customers,” said JJ Ruest, interim president and chief executive officer of CN. “These additional centrebeams, combined with our recently-announced acquisition of 350 additional box cars, give us the tools to put more capacity at the disposal of business partners such as West Fraser. CN needs to and will do better moving lumber to market.”

The new-build, 73-foot riserless centrebeams, with a maximum load capacity of 286,000 pounds, are expected to be delivered starting in September. CN is also looking at an option to purchase or lease an additional 300 cars.  

“West Fraser looks forward to continuing to work with partners who can provide an effective supply chain serving the solid U.S. housing market,” said Ted Seraphim, president and chief executive officer of West Fraser.  

The new cars will be manufactured in Canada by National Steel Car Ltd. at its assembly plant in Hamilton, Ont.

“National Steel Car has been building new freight cars for CN since 1919 and we are honoured to have the opportunity to continue to support CN and the customers they serve throughout North America,” said Gregory J. Aziz, chairman and chief executive officer of National Steel Car Limited. “This order will result in the hiring of over 250 employees at our Hamilton assembly plant, which currently employs more than 1,500 people, and will provide extended benefits for Hamilton and the Canadian economy.”    

Bob Bratina, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East – Stoney Creek, said: “CN’s investment in new cars to be built at National Steel Car’s Hamilton plant is huge for the city, but its impact ripples far beyond the Ontario steel and manufacturing economy. This is an investment in the Canadian economy and workers across the country.”

Said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, “Hamiltonians are proud of the role CN plays in our community, and this announcement is another vote of confidence in Hamilton and our skilled workforce.”

As part of CN’s record $3.4 billion capital program in 2018, the company is investing in new trade-enabling infrastructure and equipment. In addition to rail cars, CN expects starting in June to take delivery of the first of 60 new GE locomotives due in service in 2018.

This spring, CN has started its largest-ever infrastructure investment program, which includes $400 million to build new track and yard capacity to handle increased traffic across CN’s Western Region, and to Chicago. The infrastructure program includes new siding and double track projects benefiting forest products, grain, intermodal, coal and potash business.

After adding hundreds of train conductors to the field so far this year, CN continues to hire with a particular focus on crews in Western Canada. Approximately 1,250 more train conductors will be in the field before the next winter, compared to the number of conductors available before last winter.

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 whose team of approximately 25,000 railroaders transports 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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