OPERATIONS ON TRACK: CN RAIL
CN Rail says its operations are performing better than it expected so far in the second quarter after a rough winter that led to the replacement of its chief executive. Chief financial officer Ghislain Houle told a transportation conference Tuesday that volumes are up 14 per cent in the first two weeks of May after falling four per cent in the first quarter. Demand is strong for frac sand, lumber, Canadian grain and coal, he said. The Montreal-based railway says its port facility at Prince Rupert, B.C., is growing faster than expected and should hit capacity two years ahead of schedule. Houle says major investments, especially in Western Canada, will boost the operating performance in the fourth quarter. CN Rail increased its capital expenditures by $200 million to reach $3.4 billion, is qualifying hundreds of new conductors and buying 200 locomotives over the next three years.