PRINCE GEORGE- CN Rail announced a 340 million dollar investment in the province today. Some of that money will be spent in the North to improve existing rails between Prince Rupert and Jasper and construct new ones. This comes after a commitment a few months ago to purchase thousands of new cars. The goal is to increase trade opportunities in Western Canada, after a shortage of capacity led to frustration amongst producers earlier this year. "CN has been focused on operational efficiency for a very long time and that doesn't allow the kind of flexibility that it could when it had a different business model," said UNBC business professor, Charles Scott,"if you're a large producer that can ship on a predetermined schedule you're going to do a lot better than if you're a small, upcoming producer that doesn't have the volumes and the regular shipment yet."
These announcements are welcome news locally, as it's expected more wood products will be able to be shipped from Prince George to Prince Rupert and beyond. "CN is very confident that some of the investment and some of the new machinery that's coming forward will help with some backlogs and move our product out to the port," said Prince George Chamber of Commerce CEO, Todd Corrigall, "there is a ton of wood product that is shipped out of here. With all of the sawmills in the area, there's a great deal of our lumber that's making it to Rupert."
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