Railroad News

CN delivers record revenue, income in Q2

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/27/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN yesterday reported record second-quarter 2022 revenue of CA$4.3 billion, up 21%, and record operating income of CA$1.8 billion, up 28%, compared with the same period in 2021. The Class I also posted record adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the quarter of CA$1.93, a 30% increase, and diluted EPS of $CA1.92, up 32% compared with earnings in Q2 2021. The railroad delivered a "solid" operating performance in key metrics such as origin train performance, car velocity, through dwell and record fuel efficiency, resulting in a lower operating ratio, CN officials said in a press release. “I am proud of our team of railroaders and pleased with our solid performance this quarter," said President and CEO Tracy Robinson. "Our team has the network running well, demonstrating improvements in service levels to our customers, driving greater velocity and generating strong financial results. We are preparing for a busy fall and are well positioned to achieve our 2022 outlook.” CN attributed the quarterly revenue increase mainly to higher applicable fuel surcharge rates, freight rate increases, higher Canadian export volumes of coal via West Coast ports, higher volumes of U.S. grain and the positive translation impact of a weaker Canadian dollar, partly offset by significantly lower export volumes of Canadian grain. The railroad's operating ratio in the quarter was 59.3%, an improvement of 2.3 points. The adjusted operating ratio of 59% improved 2.6 points. The railroad is confirming its 2022 outlook target to deliver 15% to 20% adjusted diluted EPS growth. CN continues to target an operating ratio below 60% for the year.

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CN earns another 'best corporate citizen' ranking, announces more capex budgets

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/1/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN this week announced it earned a place on the Corporate Knights Best 50 Corporate Citizens list for the fourteenth consecutive year. The ranking is created by media firm Corporate Knights, which assesses Canadian organizations based on key performance indicators related to the management of resources, employees and financials. "CN believes in delivering responsibly. This means moving our customers’ goods safely and efficiently, ensuring we deliver in an environmentally responsible manner; attracting, developing, and retaining top diverse talent; helping to make the communities we serve safer and stronger; and adhering to the highest ethical standards," said CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson in a press release. The Class I has made the list every year since 2008 due to its commitment to reduce emissions and improve its carbon intensity, CN officials said. The railroad has also joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the United Nations' Race to Zero campaigns. Meanwhile, CN also announced two more capital expenditure budgets for 2022 projects in Iowa and Michigan. The railroad plans to spend $55 million in Michigan and $20 million in Iowa. Combined, the projects call for replacing 18 miles of rail, installing 59,000 new ties, rebuilding 33 grade crossing surfaces and performing maintenance work on bridges culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure. CN has announced similar capex budgets for the states of Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin, and the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

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CN announces more cap-ex projects in four states

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/30/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN this week announced plans to spend $230 million on capital expenditure projects in Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi and Wisconsin. The Class I has budgeted $85 million in Wisconsin, $65 million in Mississippi, $55 million in Minnesota and $25 million in Louisiana. The investments will go toward technology, capacity, rolling stock and decarbonization initiatives, as well as network improvements. The projects will increase sustainable growth and ensure the safe movement of goods in those states, CN officials said in a press release. Combined, the projects call for replacing 24 miles of rail, installing 265,000 new ties, rebuilding 97 grade crossing surfaces and performing maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure. "We continue to make significant investments in our network, technology, and capacity. We are building the premier railroad of the 21st century to do even more for our customers, railroaders, shareholders, and the communities in which we operate," said Sean Finn, CN's executive vice president of corporate services and chief legal officer. CN recently announced similar capital expenditure budgets for projects in Illinois and Tennessee, as well as in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

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CN slates cap-ex projects in two states, two provinces

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/28/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN announced yesterday it has budgeted hundreds of millions of dollars for capital projects in the states of Illinois and Tennessee, and the provinces of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. The Class I will invest CA$185 million in Saskatchewan, $150 million in Illinois, CA$40 million in New Brunswick and $30 million in Tennessee. The funds will pay for projects to advance technology, capacity, rolling stock and decarbonization initiatives, as well as network improvements. The projects will power sustainable growth and ensure the safe movement of goods in their respective areas, CN officials said in a press release. The investments call for replacing rail, installing new ties, rebuilding grade-crossing surfaces and performing maintenance work on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure. "We continue to make significant investments in our network, technology and capacity," said Sean Finn, CN's executive vice president of corporate services and chief legal officer. In recent weeks, CN has announced plans for similar projects in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

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CN slates cap-ex projects in four more provinces

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/23/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN yesterday and today announced it will spend CA$970 million this year on capital expenditure projects for its rail network in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. The funds will go toward technology, capacity, rolling stock and company-wide decarbonization efforts, as well as network improvements across all four provinces, CN officials said in a press release. The investments will power sustainable growth and ensure the continued safe movement of goods across Canada, they said. CN plans to spend CA$430 million in Ontario, CA$365 million in Alberta, CA$160 million in Manitoba and CA$15 million in Nova Scotia. The investments also include a maintenance program for each province. Combined, the work calls for replacing 102 miles of track, installing 291,000 ties, rebuilding 162 grade-crossing surfaces and completing maintenance work on various track infrastructure. Earlier this week, CN announced plans to invest CA$390 million in British Columbia and CA$335 million in Quebec. "We continue to make significant investments in our network, technology and capacity," said Sean Finn, CN executive vice president of corporate services and chief legal officer.

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CN slates cap-ex projects for British Columbia, Quebec

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/20/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image The investments are being made in technology, rolling stock units, capacity and company-wide decarbonization initiatives, as well as network improvements. Photo – cn.ca

CN today announced plans to invest CA$390 million in British Columbia and CA$335 million in Quebec in projects that enable sustainable growth, improve capacity and advance safety initiatives.

The investments are being made in technology, rolling stock units, capacity and company-wide decarbonization initiatives, as well as network improvements, CN officials said in press release.

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CN signs on to Wabtec's new precision dispatch system

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/6/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image After a phased rollout, a total of 37 desks in CN's control center will be utilizing the precision dispatch software. Photo – Wabtec Corp.

Wabtec Corp. today launched its new precision dispatch system with an order from CN.

The precision dispatch deal marks a major step toward network automation for CN and the entire rail industry, Wabtec officials said in a press release.

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CN's board elects Bruder chair

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 5/23/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image Shauneen Bruder Photo – LinkedIn

CN's board last week unanimously elected Shauneen Bruder as its new chair.

Bruder was, until her retirement in October 2019, the executive vice president of operations at the Royal Bank of Canada, where she was responsible for overseeing operations related to all personal and business clients in Canada.

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CN posts mixed results in Q1 2022

CN yesterday announced "sound operating and financial performance" in first-quarter 2022, including CA$3.7 billion in revenue, up 5%, and adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of CA$1.32, up 7%, compared with first-quarter results in 2021.

The Class I posted operating income of CA$1.2 billion, down 8%, and adjusted operating income of CA$1.2 billion, up 4%. Net income came in at CA$918 million, down from CA$976 million a year ago.

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CN, Montreal port to develop new terminal's rail component

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 4/7/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN and the Montreal Port Authority have agreed to integrate rail transport at the port's new container terminal in Contrecœur, the parties announced yesterday. A private partner will be retained to develop and operate the terminal. CN and port officials will define the technical aspects of the project's intermodal service, they said in a joint press release. The agreement is designed to strengthen the new terminal's position with shippers and give companies greater access to markets in Ontario and the U.S. Midwest, they said. The CN rail line is already in place in the area covered by the port's expansion in Contrecœur. In addition to establishing the intermodal service, the partnership aims to ensure close cooperation between CN, the port authority and the future private partner, port officials said. "Teaming up with the Montreal Port Authority and future partners allows us to design an efficient rail-served terminal to provide customers with a high quality, consistent and safe intermodal service on our network," said CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson. "This will help support our long-term, sustainable growth."

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CN recognizes 241 shippers for safe handling of dangerous goods

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 4/6/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN yesterday announced it presented its annual Safe Handling Awards to 241 shippers for their performance in 2021. Launched in 1992, the award is presented to customers who load freight cars with dangerous goods and meet strict standards for the safe handling and shipment of regulated products. The winners must meet established criteria, according to the total number of shipments of dangerous goods for all facilities, CN officials said in a press release. "This award reflects the commitment of our customers to ensuring we run a safe operation. Safety is a core value at CN and one we share with our customers as we must all be engaged and responsible for creating a safe environment for employees and communities," said Buck Rogers, vice-president of petroleum and chemicals, rail centric supply chain at CN. The award is part of the Responsible Care® Program, an ongoing performance improvement initiative in which CN is a partner in Canada and the United States. Click here to view the list of award winners for safe performance in 2021.

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CN donates to Ukraine relief efforts

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 3/16/2022 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN today announced it will make a combined donation of CA$1.1 million to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and to Razom in the United States in support of Ukrainians displaced by the war in Ukraine. CN will also be matching donations made through the CN Employees' and Pensioners' Community Fund, company officials said in a press release. The donations will help the foundation and Razom to continue providing humanitarian assistance and relief to displaced persons by offering medical care, emergency shelter and food, said CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson. "Our company’s history is tied to the settlement of western Canada by Ukrainians and we are proud to have CN employees, retirees and stakeholders in both Canada and the US who are of Ukrainian descent," she added. The Canada-Ukraine Foundation was formed in 1995 to coordinate, develop, organize, and deliver assistance projects generated by Canadians and directed to Ukraine. Razom is a U.S.-based nonprofit that aims to improve Ukraine. In response to the war, Razom volunteers created the Razom Emergency Response, which is focused on purchasing medical supplies, hospital supplies and tech-enabled emergency response supplies that facilitate the delivery of aid.

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CN, Progress Rail to test renewable fuel blends

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 11/3/2021 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN and Progress Rail today announced they're partnering with Renewable Energy Group (REG) to test high-level renewable fuel blends, including both biodiesel and renewable diesel. Trials and qualifications of up to 100% bio-based diesel fuel are important steps in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from CN’s existing locomotive fleet, while alternative propulsion locomotive technologies are being developed, CN and Progress Rail officials said in a joint press release. The program will allow CN and Progress Rail to better understand the long-term durability and operational impacts of renewable fuels on locomotives, especially in cold weather, and plan needed modifications to fully leverage their usage over the next decade, they said. Rail has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of transportation services, as shipping heavy freight by rail can reduce carbon emissions by up to 75% when compared to trucks. Looking to 2030 and beyond, reducing fossil carbon emissions associated with rail transportation will continue to require innovative fuel-efficient technologies, the greater use of cleaner sustainable fuels and designing innovative low emission supply chain solutions through investments and collaboration, they added.

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CN issues shareholder letter to counter TCI claims

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 11/2/2021 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN today issued a letter to shareholders in connection with its upcoming special meeting slated for March 22, 2022, and in response to recent materials filed by CIFF Capital and TCI Fund Management (collectively TCI). The letter outlines what CN's board and management team believe are TCI's "misleading claims" about the company, which CN officials said have been "disruptive" to the railroad's "sustainable value creation efforts." TCI — the largest shareholder of Canadian Pacific, CN's direct competitor — recently increased its stake in CN so that it could launch a hostile effort to replace four of CN's independent board directors and direct the selection of the company's next executive officer. "We believe that as you come to learn more about TCI and its plans for CN, you will see that its motives are highly suspect and its approach to railroading is outdated, myopic and destructive to longer term value," CN's letter states. A copy of CN's letter can be accessed by clicking here.

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TCI counters CN's claims of 'inaccuracies'

Long-term shareholders CIFF Capital UK LP and The Children's Investment Master Fund, acting by their investment manager TCI Fund Management Ltd., yesterday confirmed they will nominate four independent directors to CN's board at the company's special meeting of shareholders on March 22, 2022.

Those candidates are:
• Gilbert Lamphere, a railroad executive with 40 years of experience in the industry. Lamphere has been a board member of several public and private railroad companies.
• Allison Landry, currently an independent director on the board of XPO Logistics Inc. Landry previously spent 16 years as an equity research analyst at Credit Suisse specializing in the railroad, trucking, airfreight and logistics industries.
• Rob Knight, former chief financial officer of Union Pacific Railroad, a position he held for 15-years. During Knight's 40-year tenure at UP, he held a variety of senior executive positions, including general manager of the company's energy and automotive businesses.
• Paul Miller, an expert in transportation, logistics, safety management and regulatory affairs and a former executive at CN from 1978-2011. During his 33-year career at the company, Miller held leadership roles in operations, marketing and planning. He retired as CN's vice president of safety, sustainability and network transportation in 2011.

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CN sets shareholder meeting requested by TCI

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 10/4/2021 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN today announced that it has scheduled a special meeting of shareholders in response to a requisition by CIFF Capital and TCI (collectively TCI). The meeting is scheduled for March 22, 2022. TCI and CN have mutually agreed to the date of the special meeting.
 CN remains committed to executing its ambitious, long-term, sustainable growth strategy, and is grateful for early expressions of support for this plan that it has received from valued shareholders, customers, partners and other key stakeholders., CN officials said in a press release. In making the meeting announcement, the company reiterated its message that it has “best-in-class corporate governance and a strong shareholder engagement program as it continues to focus on operational excellence, a customer-first culture, innovation and ESG leadership.” Over the past year, CN changes to governance included the addition of three new independent directors and achieving gender parity among independent directors ahead of plan. At the company’s most recent annual general meeting, all directors received greater than 95% of votes in favor, and CN’s say-on-pay resolution passed with 97.7% support. TCI’s motives for its requisition are dubious, CN officials said. To read the company’s complete statement, click here.

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CN wins AREMA's Hay award for Louisiana bridge project

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) recently named CN the winner of the 2021 Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence for the New McComb Bonnet Carre Spillway Bridge project in Louisiana.

The award honors the memory of William Walter Hay, a longtime AREMA contributor and professor of railway civil engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Each year, the association bestows the award to projects that best illustrate safety, innovation and service performance reliability.

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CN prepares plan for upcoming winter season

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 9/30/2021 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image The new plan outlines the challenges the Class I faces operating in Canadian winters. Photo – cn.ca

CN has published its 2021-2022 winter plan to explain how its employees and equipment will be prepared to reduce the impact of harsh weather conditions for customers, while ensuring the safety and effectiveness of its operations.

The plan, which is required by provisions of the Canada Transportation Act, was developed in consultation and collaboration with customers and stakeholders, CN officials said in the press release.

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CN outlines details of its strategic plan

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 9/17/2021 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image "We are now well-positioned to lead the industry through its next transformation by investing in the success of our customers, workforce and communities while delivering enhanced financial results," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest. Photo – cn.ca

CN today announced the details of its strategic and financial value creation plan, which the Class I said is designed to allow the company to continue delivering high-quality service to customers while generating profitable growth and enhanced returns to shareholders.

The plan builds on CN’s January 2021 strategic plan to lead on safety, customer value, operational excellence, sustainability and social inclusion, while also delivering industry-leading shareholder returns, CN officials said in a press release.

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CN receives notice of termination of KCS merger deal

CN announced today that Kansas City Southern has provided notice of termination of the previously announced May 21, 2021, definitive merger agreement with CN.

The notice was provided after the KCS board determined on Sept. 12 that an updated acquisition proposal from Canadian Pacific was "superior" to CN’s offer to merge with KCS. Today, CP and KCS announced they have entered into a merger agreement, under which CP has agreed to acquire KCS in a stock and cash transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately $31 billion, which includes the assumption of $3.8 billion of outstanding KCS debt.

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