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Rail News: Mechanical

CN to upgrade iron-ore car fleet


Today, Canadian National Railway Co. announced it will acquire 232 rapid-discharge ore cars and refurbish 500 existing cars as part of a long-term plan to upgrade the fleet used to move pelletized iron ore produced in the Upper Midwest.

Car deliveries will start in January 2009 (CN didn’t identify the car builder). The Class I plans to retire the same number of older cars as new ones are delivered.

Refurbishment work, which is under way, calls for installing new trucks and couplers, modernizing braking systems and repairing outlet gates.

CN currently manages a fleet of about 2,200 iron-ore cars. The Class I plans to acquire additional new iron ore cars over the next three to five years and refurbish another 500 cars next year.

"CN's iron ore business in the U.S. is performing well and we anticipate continued strength in this market segment in future," said James Foote, CN executive vice president of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement.

CN hauls pelletized iron ore in unit trains from three mines in northern Minnesota and one in Michigan primarily to Great Lakes ports, where the freight is shipped to North American steel producers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/9/2008