March 18, 2008 10:35 ET

CN to spend more than US$300 million in 2008 on rail infrastructure improvements in the U.S.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - CN (NYSE:CNI) (TSX:CNR) announced today plans to invest more than US$300 million in rail infrastructure projects in the United States this year to maintain a safe railway and improve the productivity and fluidity of its network.

CN's capital spending in its Southern Region is targeted at replacement of rail, ties and other track materials, and bridge improvements. The Company will also complete the multi-year US$100-million upgrade of Johnston Yard in Memphis in 2008, and will invest in other terminals and new and extended sidings to permit more efficient operations.

Gordon Trafton, senior vice-president, Southern Region, said: "Our investments in rail infrastructure will ensure plant quality and safety for our customers and the communities in which we operate, improve rail productivity and position us to take advantage of growth opportunities."

CN plans to make its spending work harder in 2008. Day-to-day rail inspection and maintenance programs will also benefit from the roll out of the first phase of CN's Precision Engineering program. The mobile computer system at the heart of this initiative will help CN manage engineering processes more efficiently, reduce engineering related delays to trains, improve labor efficiency as a result of better information availability, and increase material and machine utilization.

CN's Southern Region capital program is part of a plan to invest approximately US$1.5 billion company-wide in 2008, of which more than US$1.1 billion will be focused on track infrastructure. Equipment spending, targeted to reach approximately US$140 million in 2008, will include the acquisition of new fuel-efficient locomotives, as well as improvements to the existing fleet. CN also expects to spend approximately US$250 million on facilities to grow the business, including transloads and distribution centers, information technology to improve service and operating efficiency, and other projects to increase productivity.

Excluded from the 2008 capital spending program is CN's proposed US$100-million upgrading plan for the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway (EJ&E). CN announced in September 2007 an agreement to acquire the EJ&E for US$300 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at

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