CN announced it will acquire 50 high-horsepower locomotives from Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. (EMD) for delivery in the second half of 2007.
The acquisition of the 4,300-horsepower SD70M-2 locomotives will prepare CN to handle new international freight traffic to and from the Port of Prince Rupert, BC intermodal terminal, which is scheduled to open for business in the second half of next year.
The Prince Rupert terminal will create a new North American gateway for Asian goods destined for the principal centers of Canada and the United States Midwest and South.
Phase one of the new terminal will be able to handle 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers annually. These containers will travel over CN’s North American network from Prince Rupert to Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Memphis, Tenn.
E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of CN, said: “These new locomotives will position us to accommodate rising traffic volumes on our Western Canadian network and, in particular, anticipated new Prince Rupert freight volumes. CN’s network has ample capacity to handle more freight, with new extended sidings in the West allowing us to improve velocity and efficiencies. We’re excited about Prince Rupert’s future, and we’ll be ready to take full advantage of the port’s potential.”
The 50 new EMD locomotives are being acquired under an option that CN obtained when it ordered 25 SD70M-2 locomotives from the builder in April 2005. Terms of the latest transaction with EMD are confidential.