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COMPETITION WATCH: CN orders 65 new locomotives

MONTREAL, Que. -- CN is acquiring 65 new fuel-efficient, high-horsepower locomotives in 2007 and 2008, in addition ...

MONTREAL, Que. — CN is acquiring 65 new fuel-efficient, high-horsepower locomotives in 2007 and 2008, in addition to 65 locomotives already on order for delivery this year.

CN’s latest orders are for 40 ES44DC locomotives from GE Transportation Rail, a unit of General Electric Company, and 25 SD70M-2 locomotives from Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. The GE units will be delivered between December 2007 and February 2008, with the EMDs arriving in August 2008.

CN previously ordered 50 SD70M-2s for delivery between August and October 2007, and 15 ES44DC units to come in November of this year. The SD70M-2s produce 4,300 horsepower, the ES44DCs 4,400 horsepower.

“The new units are about 15 per cent more fuel efficient than the locomotives they will replace, and will comply fully with the latest regulatory requirements for reduced locomotive emissions. The latest locomotive orders announced today will permit CN to retire 145 older locomotives.” said E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer

The new locomotive orders are part of a major fuel conservation program by CN, which spent almost C$900 million on fuel in 2006.

The 65 locomotives CN previously ordered for this year will be largely used to accommodate growth in traffic from the new Port of Prince Rupert container terminal, scheduled to start operations in October of this year.

All of the 130 new locomotives CN has ordered for 2007 and 2008 will be equipped with distributed power capability, which allows them to be placed in the middle of a freight train and to be remotely controlled from the lead locomotive.

Distributed power technology improves fuel efficiency and train handling, and permits CN to maximize the productivity gains associated with its extended siding program.

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