Ottawa Citizen - - FP OTTAWA -

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.


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