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CN increases Brampton Intermodal Terminal capacity

TORONTO, May 17, 2011 — CN (TSX: CNR)(NYSE: CNI) announced today a series of capacity improvements to accommodate growing container volumes at its Brampton Intermodal Terminal (BIT) and to ensure a high level of service for intermodal customers across its system.

BIT, located in the prime logistics area of Greater Toronto, is Canada's largest rail intermodal terminal and a key component in CN's distribution network -- almost 60 per cent of the railway's system-wide intermodal business touches the terminal. CN's rail intermodal traffic consists primarily of containerized cargoes moving in cooperation with other transportation modes.

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN, said: “Intermodal is one of CN's fastest-growing business segments. We are investing in new track, equipment and other infrastructure improvements at BIT to take our intermodal service offering to the next level in efficiently distributing growing overseas container traffic reaching our network over Canadian ports as well as rising domestic intermodal shipments across Canada. These investments will increase supply chain efficiencies for our customers and help them grow their businesses.

“CN Intermodal is an increasingly attractive transportation solution as fuel prices rise and freight customers put greater emphasis on sustainable options. We offer the marketplace competitive rail transit times and reliable drayage services in an environmentally friendly package.”

Charles Campbell, managing director of NYK Line (Canada) Inc., part of the international marine transportation company and the NYK Group, said: “As is evident in many areas of CN's intermodal operations, we have seen major improvements at Brampton Intermodal Terminal. The shortening of turn times at BIT reflects this effort. In general, the service level across the CN network has improved as CN continues to listen and react to customer input.”

CN's BIT improvements include:

  • The installation of new track and extension of existing track to increase rail capacity by close to 15 per cent;
  • Creation of approximately 25 per cent more ground space for international containers by staging CN containers offsite;
  • Purchasing five new cranes in 2011, after the acquisition of five new ones last fall, and,
  • Increasing the labour force by about 10 per cent in 2011.

These customer-focused initiatives follow construction of new entry and exit lanes for truckers last December that increased BIT's gate throughput by 33 per cent.

BIT's 2011 intermodal volumes through the end of April increased by 12 per cent over figures for the comparable period of 2010.

CN's total 2010 intermodal volumes increased by 17 per cent over 2009 to 1,455,000 units, while intermodal revenues last year rose by 18 per cent to C$1,576 million.

Mongeau said: “CN's capacity improvements at BIT reflect our strategic agenda of operational and service excellence. By anticipating our customers' transportation needs, our innovation and supply chain collaboration focus can help them expand profitably and compete more effectively.”

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information included in this news release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. CN cautions that, by their nature, these 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. Such 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 of performance of the Company or the rail industry to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such 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, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, 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, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risks.

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 Canadian 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 maters, or any other forward-looking statement.

About CN

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.

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