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MONTREAL, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) announced today the launch of the third year of its Safety Innovation Program. The Program is part of CN's broader safety agenda that is focused on enhancing the safety of operations and making the company the safest railway in North America.

Jim Vena, CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer, said: "For the third year in a row, we're stepping up our efforts to leverage new technology to bolster our Safety Management System that is designed to minimize risk and continually reduce accidents and injuries. Our general approach is to develop more lines of defence against accidents. Our 2016 Program, which supplements our on-going investments in track infrastructure maintenance and safety culture, brings the total applied to the Safety Innovation Program to C$67 million since 2014."

The 2016 portion will involve spending C$28 million on a series of initiatives, including:

  • The installation of new Wayside Inspection Systems at additional locations specifically identified as a result of CN's corridor risk assessment program;
  • The acquisition of additional hi-rail trucks that measure track geometric parameters such as rail gauge and cross level, and
  • Predictive analytics and data management initiatives to assess mechanical trends and identify opportunities for pre-emptive maintenance work, as well as give engineering forces a better understanding of track health so that they can prioritize maintenance and capital programs.

A major step in upgrading CN's detection technology was the completion in 2015 of a new Track Evaluation System car that was upgraded with the latest technology for assessing track geometry, identifying missing and broken track components through optical imaging, as well as objectively evaluating tie condition. CN also employs outside contractors who conduct ultrasonic technology inspections to detect internal rail defects that are not visible.

CN has the densest network of wayside detection technology in North America and has increased the number of wayside inspection detectors on its network by more than 30 per cent in the past decade, and increased the number of wheel impact load detectors by 60 per cent over the same period. CN has also doubled the frequency of ultrasonic flaw detection over the last 10 years.

Vena said: "The application of new technologies to detect and prevent mechanical and engineering flaws is a key part of our safety mindset. This approach and rigorous safety processes and the continued strengthening of our safety culture are integral to our unwavering commitment to safety."

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 whose team of approximately 23,000 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


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