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MONTREAL, March 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CN (TSX:CNR) (NYSE:CNI) Interim President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest said the company will quickly improve the movement of Western Canadian grain and is directing additional people and equipment to clear backlogs across its network.

“We apologize for not meeting the expectations of our grain customers, nor our own high standards,” Ruest said. “The entire CN team has a sense of urgency and is fully focused on getting it right for farmers and our grain customers, regaining the confidence of Canadian businesses, and protecting Canada’s reputation as a stable trade partner in world markets.

“Moving the Canadian economy is in our DNA. We can and we will do much better, and that starts today – no excuses,” Ruest continued. “CN has taken immediate steps to mobilize our proud and dedicated team of railroaders – the best in the business – in order to move more grain faster.”

These steps include:

  • Offering incentives for key operating employees to delay retirement and postpone vacations, and for recently-retired operating employees to return to work
  • Deploying qualified management employees to operate extra trains
  • Adding train crews in Western Canada: about 250 conductors put in the field in last three months of 2017, with about 400 conductors coming into the field in the first three months of 2018, and an additional 375 from April to June
  • Leased 130 locomotives to increase capacity in Western Canada, almost all of which are now online
  • Investing over $250 million this year to build new track and yard capacity in Western Canada to boost supply chain fluidity and build in capacity resiliency for future grain crops

CN delivered 4,577 empty hopper cars last week, up 35 percent from the February average of 3,400. All available hopper cars are in service and we will show sequential weekly improvements progressing towards 5,000 per week by the end of March.

“Canadians can count on CN to get this job done and to get it done safely, reliably and efficiently,” Ruest said. “We will provide regular weekly tracking on our grain movements and engage our grain customers. We also encourage Parliament to pass Bill C-49 swiftly.”

CN is a true backbone of the economy whose team of approximately 24,000 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                                                             

Patrick Waldron Paul Butcher
Senior Manager           Vice-President
Media Relations   Investor Relations
(514) 399-8803 (514) 399-0052

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at