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Customer Reports

The objective of CN’s Winter Plan is clear. It is to build resiliency and minimize the impacts of difficult operating conditions on the CN rail network. We are taking direct action to help deal with the challenges in a way that meets the needs of our customers.

In recognition of the level of service owed to all railway customers, we are required to provide a winter plan that describes the measures CN has taken to move grain along with other traffic such as potash, forestry products or manufactured goods, when faced with difficult operating conditions. We target systemic issues associated with rail operations in winter to maintain a proper balance of resources to move all commodities. We understand and embrace our responsibilities to our customers and Canada’s economy. From new capacity resulting from infrastructure investments, the hiring of new employees or the acquisition of new equipment, we needed to act and this Winter Plan explains what we have done to prepare, and what we will do tactically when our network and operation is inevitably affected by winter conditions in the coming months.

Our Winter Plan is realistic. It recognizes the variable, uncontrollable factors that can make rail operations in the winter months far more challenging than during the rest of the year. The effects of extreme cold or heavy winter snowfall, coupled with the loss of port export capacity in Thunder Bay in the case of our grain exports, puts significant pressure on the effectiveness and efficiency of rail service. CN understands nevertheless that it must provide reliable, efficient and timely rail delivery for all its customers. Given those realities, CN’s Winter Plan is designed to maximize its operational capacity to meet the needs of all our customers during the cold winter months.

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