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CN sets new high-water mark for Gulf export program with two months left in the year
NOV 09, 2022

CN Sets New High-water Mark for Gulf Export Program With Two Months Left in the Year

CN is celebrating hitting a high-water mark for its direct rail program to the Gulf. With two months left to go this year, CN’s Gulf rail program has exceeded the previous near-term high recorded in 2014. You need to go back to 2007/08 to see a direct rail program to the Gulf this strong on CN, and CN is positioned well to eclipse this level. These results demonstrate CN’s commitment to serving its U.S. agricultural customers, including through some challenging circumstances. CN is proud of the strong operational performance its team of railroaders have delivered throughout 2022 to achieve this milestone.

CN’s direct rail program to the Gulf was strong to start 2022 given brisk export demand for corn and soybeans. The conflict in Ukraine resulted in significant shifts in commodity trade flows and caused a spike in demand. CN pulled out the stops to deliver for its customers, including managing through the effects of the COVID Omicron variant on its workforce.

CN has also been preparing for a strong fall grain export program for months, and that is exactly what has materialized. In August, CN presented to the National Grain Car Council and communicated its readiness for the upcoming harvest, demonstrating that it had the resources in place to deliver. All of that advanced planning and effort benefits farmers and CN grain customers.

CN’s Southern Region Transportation team has supported strong operational results for the movement of grain and other commodities. This achievement is in due in no small part to all the hard work put in by Bulk Operations, Engineering, Rail Traffic Control, Service Design, Sales & Marketing and many others – it is a team of teams approach that has been winning the day.

Preparing for the future

Railroading is a capital-intensive business, and CN has a strong track record of capital investment. Back in November 2020, CN marked a significant engineering accomplishment with the cutover to the re-constructed Bonnet Carré-McComb Spillway Bridge near New Orleans. This bridge, more than two miles in length, provides a critical U.S. transportation corridor for freight and passenger service across the Bonnet Carré Spillway. The size and scale of this project was significant, with an army of CN Engineering employees and contractor construction crews operating 24/7 to replace a historic timber bridge with an 11,712-foot pre-cast concrete bridge. The new bridge has also helped increase network capacity, moving traffic faster and more efficiently.

CN’s capital investments include replacing over 50 miles of rail, installing 500,000 new ties, and rebuilding over 180 road crossing surfaces, along with maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems, and other track infrastructure. Total infrastructure investment in the US over the past five years represents roughly US$3.3 billion dollars.

high-water mark for Gulf export program
Construction of the cutover to the Bonnet Carré-McComb Spillway Bridge

CN’s grain franchise has a bright future in the U.S. and we are proud to serve agricultural-related customers across CN’s U.S. network.