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CN is a true backbone of the economy, says CN President and CEO Claude Mongeau

MONTREAL, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), said today the railway's reach, service, innovation, understanding of its customers' markets and commitment to delivering safely make it a true backbone of the economy.

Mongeau, speaking to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, said many are unaware of the significance of CN and railways to their daily lives.

The fact is that CN moves more than C$250-billion worth of natural resources, industrial products and consumer goods annually, making the company "intimately and extensively involved in just about every sector of the economy," Mongeau said.

Mongeau cited a range of ways in which CN matters to the economy. In the West, CN and the rail industry are "a pillar of Canadian grain competitiveness and a core part of a supply chain that calls for continuous and dynamic engagement from the Prairie countryside to the waterfront. Canadian railways are a key part of the solution, offering rail freight rates that are among the lowest in the world and a focus on service excellence designed to help Canadian farmers win in global markets."

In the East, CN is extensively involved in moving industrial products, Mongeau said. For example, CN touches a substantial portion of the forest products and metals produced in Quebec, providing timely access to markets in the rest of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. CN concentrates on the first and last mile of its interaction with customers, delivering speed and reliability with a high level of car order fulfillment.

CN is also intimately involved in the movement of containers destined for consumer markets. "This is another area where CN has introduced fundamental innovation, inviting all the key players in the supply chain to participate in framework collaboration agreements that open end-to-end visibility and focus on joint performance metrics that break down silos and smooth the flow of consumer goods."

Mongeau said safety is of the utmost importance to CN, particularly with regard to the transportation of dangerous goods that are critical to the economy and represent approximately 10 per cent of the railway's annual carloadings.

"As a backbone of the economy, we take our role very seriously when we are entrusted to move such dangerous goods. CN has an unwavering commitment to safety and we always aim to deliver responsibly. Our safety record is solid and it has been improving continuously for several years."

CN's safety focus is producing solid results. Main-track accidents declined by more than 50 per cent between 2002 and 2012, a year in which CN recorded the fewest such accidents in its history.

Mongeau concluded: "At CN, we are deeply committed to playing our role as a backbone of the economy. We are a proud team of 23,000 railroaders, fully engaged to remain the leader in the industry and creating value for our customers and shareholders."

For a copy of Mongeau's remarks, click on www.cn.ca/boardoftradespeech.

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.

SOURCE CN

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