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CN Rail to spend $1.75B on its network in 2012

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Canadian National Railway (CNR-T), the country's biggest railroad, said on Friday it will spend $1.75 billion in 2012 to maintain and upgrade its network and to drive growth and productivity initiatives.

CN said it will spend more than $1 billion on track infrastructure, to maintain safe operations and enhance productivity. This includes spending on rail, ties, track materials and bridge improvements.

The infrastructure spending includes funds for rail-line and yard improvements on the Elgin Joliet and Eastern Railway in the Chicago area, which CN acquired in 2009. Sidings on its corridor between Edmonton, Alberta, and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, will be extended, and longer passing tracks will be put in place in Northern Ontario.

About $150 million will be spent on equipment, including freight cars and locomotive upgrades.

The Montreal-based railway said it has also earmarked about $500 million to capitalize on growth opportunities and to purchase technology to boost productivity.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd said last month that it will invest $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion in its business operations this year.

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