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CN to accelerate upgrade in Wisconsin, expects to finish in three years

MONTREAL – Canadian National Railway Co. (TSX:CNR) is going to accelerate work on a US$33-million upgrade of its Whitehall Subdivision in Wisconsin to increase car-loading capacity and train velocity.

CN said it will improve the 120-kilometre section between Wisconsin Rapids and Blair, Wis., in three years rather than four.

The railway began the work in 2012 and should have it completed by December 2014.

The upgrade will allow for the transportation of heavier loaded frac sand freight cars weighing a maximum of 130,000 kilograms.

“We are investing in increased rail capacity on the Whitehall Subdivision to help move more frac sand and to develop a more robust supply chain for our customers in Wisconsin to connect with the oil and gas shale basins in North America,” CN chief marketing officer Jean-Jacques Ruest said.

Frac sand is used by oil and gas industries in hydraulic fracturing, a technique used to extract oil and natural gas.