Canada invests in rail infrastructure in energy-producing Alberta

A photograph of a locomotive pulling railcars on a bridge.

The Canadian government plans to invest C$15 million in rail-related improvements in Alberta to reduce bottlenecks on the western Canadian rail network, Transport Canada announced Monday.

The funding will go toward the construction of a 1,930-car rail storage yard in Sturgeon County, northeast of Edmonton. The project will also include a large loop track, 32 parallel storage tracks to store railcars and assemble trains, and a connection to Canadian National’s (NYSE: CNI) Rock Yard’s rail siding.

Transport Canada said the project will lower costs and increase the volume of products available for export from the Alberta Industrial Heartland, a region that is home to dozens of companies in the chemical, petrochemical, oil and gas, and fertilizer industries. The region has a land-use initiative supported by local municipalities. According to the initiative’s website, future development in the region will include increasing the region’s bitumen-upgrading capacity, pipeline network and petrochemical-processing capabilities.

“Transportation and distribution of goods are a vital part of our local, regional and national economies. This investment in the Alberta Industrial Heartland will increase access to transportation, help businesses get more products to market, and support quality and well-paying middle-class jobs,” said Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs.

Canada’s investment in Alberta is part of the government’s wider efforts to bolster trade-oriented infrastructure. Those efforts include the Investing in Canada plan, a program that has invested more than C$180 billion over 12 years to support infrastructure projects and transportation and trade routes. The government is also seeking to facilitate the flow of goods to international markets through its National Trade Corridors Fund.