CN investing in special program to enhance already strong rail and wheel flaw detection capability

MONTREAL, Nov. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) announced today a special program to acquire additional monitoring equipment to enhance its strong technological base for early detection of defects.

Jim Vena, CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer, said: "We're stepping up our inspection and detection capabilities. We've had a major push in recent years to increase the number and quality of track, wheel and bearings inspections that help prevent accidents. This has positioned us well in the rail industry. With this program, we intend to go further when it comes to safe rail operations."

At a cost of C$10 million, the program will include the acquisition/installation of:

  • Thirty new Wayside Equipment System units that detect hot bearings, hot wheels and dragging equipment;

  • A new track geometry test car to monitor the position, curvature and alignment of track;

  • An optical track inspection system that uses imaging to identify defects;

  • More than 30 new brittle bar detectors that identify and flag derailed equipment to train crews, and

  • Controlled signaling on certain key rail sidings in our most heavily used corridors to alert crews and dispatchers to broken rail incidents.

CN has more wayside detection technology than any other railway in North America and has increased that capability by 30 per cent over the past five years. CN has also increased the frequency of its ultrasonic rail flaw inspection by 70 per cent over the past five years.

Vena said: "The application of new detection equipment and modern safety technologies will improve the coverage of our network. The technology we're deploying will keep us ahead of the industry in this field and strengthen our solid safety performance even further. Advanced technology, rigorous safety process and the continued strengthening of our safety culture are the key foundations of our unwavering commitment to safety.

"Our safety focus is producing solid results. CN's main-track accidents declined by more than 50 per cent between 2002 and 2012, a year in which CN recorded the fewest such accidents in its history. That's a good performance but we know we can, and have to do better still."

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately 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 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 on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information included in this news release is "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 risk factors that could affect the 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 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.

SOURCE CN

Image with caption: "CN (CNW Group/CN)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131128_C5836_PHOTO_EN_34018.jpg



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