CN has announced a major locomotive acquisition program to ‘accommodate anticipated traffic growth and to improve operational efficiency, enabling the railway to better serve its customers’.

CN will acquire 65 new high-horsepower locomotives as well as 96 second-hand high-horsepower locomotives that will be upgraded.

Keith Creel, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, said:

“CN’s locomotive acquisition program represents a balanced, capital-effective approach to handle expected volume growth over the next two to five years and to meet the locomotive requirements resulting from customer focused service plans.

“The new and used motive power will enhance operational efficiency and reduce fuel consumption by permitting the retirement of older, high-maintenance locomotives and the cascading of less fuel-efficient main-line units into less-demanding yard and local switching operations, while providing additional locomotives to accommodate increased traffic.”

CN will take delivery in 2013-14 of 35 new ES44AC locomotives from GE Transportation (GE), and 30 new SD70ACe locomotives from Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD). The GE units have 4,400 and the SD70ACe units 4,300 horsepower.

CN will this year purchase 42 second-hand GE Dash 8-40C locomotives, 11 leased GE Dash 8-40C locomotives, and 43 second-hand EMD SD60 locomotives.

The Dash 8 units have 4,000 and the SD60s 3,800 horsepower. These direct-current technology locomotives will be upgraded to CN specifications.