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MONTREAL, May 5, 2015 /CNW/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) announced today the details of its 2015 plan to invest C$2.7 billion in rail infrastructure maintenance and improvements, as well as in new capacity, equipment and technology to raise network safety and efficiency, improve service and support future growth.

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said: "With the work season now well underway, CN is embarking on a large number of maintenance and construction projects to ensure we continue to run a safe railway and play a continuing role as a true backbone of the economy."

CN is planning to spend approximately C$1.4 billion on track infrastructure. This will include the replacement of rail, ties and other track materials, bridge improvements, as well as various branch-line upgrades. Such investments allow CN to improve the network and are part of a multi-year program aimed at maintaining a high level of safety and efficiency while helping CN's customers grow.

Within its track infrastructure spending, CN is allocating C$100 million to upgrade its feeder network. This investment is part of the C$500-million program announced earlier this year to upgrade branch lines that are experiencing rising volumes of traffic.

CN safety investments this year will include additional fault detection systems such as wayside inspection system technology, hot wheel detectors, wheel impact load detectors, signaled sidings to detect broken rails, and new geometry testing and joint-bar inspection technology.

CN will also spend approximately C$800 million in 2015 on growth and productivity initiatives such as yard improvements, intermodal terminals, transload and distribution centres and information technology.

CN's equipment capital expenditures in 2015 are targeted to reach approximately C$500 million, allowing the company to tap growth opportunities and improve the quality of the fleet. As part of this initiative, CN expects to take delivery of 90 new high-horsepower locomotives and will invest in new rolling stock and freight car refurbishments.

Mongeau concluded: "CN is investing in a safe, efficient railway that is building on a strong foundation as well as building for the future in this the 20th anniversary year of our initial public offering of shares. We are proud of our achievements and our record of investing significant capital in the business to ensure a sustainable enterprise for many years to come."

Forward-Looking Statements 

Certain information included in this news release constitutes "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 or 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 factors that could affect the above 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 and assumptions 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 matters, or any other forward-looking statement.

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately 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 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 on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.

SOURCE CN

Media: Mark Hallman, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, (905) 669-3384; Investment Community: Janet Drysdale, Vice-President, Investor Relations, (514) 399-0052