CN is well positioned to handle an anticipated volume increase in grain, potash, consumer goods, and energy products projected for 2019. CN's has invested a record $3.5 billion in 2018 to hire hundreds of train conductors, add new track, boxcars and locomotives, primarily to service Western Canada. Adding to this will be the delivery of the first 40 of 60 new General Electric locomotives in January. Record levels of capital expenditures are expected to continue in 2019.
Also of interest, in mid-December CN and the Unifor union that represents its 2,100 mechanics, electricians and apprentices in Canada reached a tentative collective agreement. Negotiations began Oct. 5 with Unifor saying that wages, benefits and the contracting out of repair and overhaul work were key issues. The new agreement is subject to ratification. The current contract expired on December 31, 2018.