CN announced this week that it plans to acquire 1,500 new-generation, high-capacity grain hopper cars, with delivery starting in January 2021. The new railcars will encourage economic recovery through job creation in the North American manufacturing sector and help CN continue to meet the growing needs of grain farmers and grain customers, the company said.
“This investment, combined with our 2020 $2.9 billion capital investment program, will help us move more grain,” CN president and chief executive officer JJ Ruest said. “We are confident in the future of the grain business and its key role in CN’s long-term growth. By investing in the construction of these new cars, we want to help quickly stimulate the North American economy by supporting manufacturing and agriculture-related jobs.”
James Cairns, senior vice president of rail-centric supply chain for CN, said the company’s Canadian grain movements continue to break records month after month, and the new higher-capacity hopper cars will help perpetuate growth in a key sector of the North American economy.
“By purchasing new hopper cars for the second time in two years, we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to grain farmers, grain customers and the overall supply chain to expand our collective capacity through fleet renewal,” he said. “Through this investment, we will be able to support and expand our movements of grain to international markets as demand continues to increase.”
CN recently reported that June was another record month, with the company moving 2.7 million metric tons of Canadian grain. In the first half of 2020 through June 30, CN moved 15 mmt after achieving its new all-time best quarter in which it moved 8.15 mmt.
June also was the company's fourth consecutive month of record grain movement, contributing to CN’s record pace for the crop year through June of 26.9 mmt, compared to the previous record of 26.5 mmt set last crop year. In addition, CN has moved more than 1 mmt of Canadian grain from the prairie provinces via container so far this crop year, contributing to its record pace of Canadian grain intermodal shipments.