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GO Transit acquires important CN rail line

04/22/2009 AT 07:48

This strategically important rail line runs from a point near Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street West in downtown Toronto, northwest through the city to CN's main east-west freight line near the intersection of Steeles Avenue and Bramalea Road. The purchase is valued at C$160 million.

GO currently runs its Georgetown commuter rail service over the line, which also accommodates VIA Rail trains running between Toronto, Kitchener, and other points in southwestern Ontario. In total, the two passenger carriers operate 46 trains per day over the line, while CN operates three daily local freight trains along this corridor.

Under its agreement with GO Transit, CN will continue to serve its freight customers on the Weston Subdivision. VIA will also continue to operate trains on the line.

By owning the Georgetown rail corridor, GO is better positioned to add more service, build new infrastructure, and expand its operations along that line. This acquisition aligns with GO Transit's Strategic Plan, GO 2020.

“This is a major step forward for future growth and expansion along this already busy corridor,” said GO Transit Chairman Peter Smith. “This purchase sets the framework for future GO rail corridor purchases, and we look forward to continuing our strong, long-standing partnership with CN.”

Claude Mongeau, CN executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said: “CN is pleased to have reached this line-sale agreement with GO Transit. GO is a valuable CN customer – the vast majority of its services in the Greater Toronto Area operate over CN's rail network – and we believe this transaction and our continuing partnership with GO will help to advance commuter rail and its clear environmental benefits to the Toronto region. At the same time, our line sale – reflecting CN's tight focus on asset management – will also generate value for the company.”

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