Steve Allen; CN facilities manager; took the media and officials on a tour of the CN yard and explained the current operation as the coming upgrades.

Steve Allen; CN facilities manager; took the media and officials on a tour of the CN yard and explained the current operation as the coming upgrades.

CN expanding Prince George facility that ships containers to Prince Rupert

The Canadian National Railway in Prince George will be hiring about 25 more employees, nearly doubling its workforce, as it goes ahead with a $3.2 million expansion of the Prince George Distribution Centre.

The Canadian National Railway in Prince George will be hiring about 25 more employees, nearly doubling its workforce, as it goes ahead with a $3.2 million expansion of the Prince George Distribution Centre.

The expansion will allow the company to go from stuffing 400 containers per day to 700. The expansion comes as a result of increased demand in the Asian market, a change that has positively affected the centre since 2010. Exports are shipped by rail to the Prince Rupert facility then are sent overseas, taking advantage of the 58 hours in transit time saved via this route.

“Naturally, we’re delighted with their expansion, and look forward to the positive impact this will undoubtably have on both the economy of the region and on the corridor leading to Prince Rupert as a shipping gateway,” says Prince Rupert Port Authority representative, Michael

Gurney.

When it first opened, the centre employed five people and stuffed about 30 containers per week. Since the Asian boom in 2010, work at the centre has continued to increase exponentially.

“This is another sign of our improving and diversifying economy,” said Mayor Dan Rogers.

Steve Allen, the facilities manager for CN said they will be utilizing the facility in the way it was originally designed.

The expansion will include taking advantage of two-thirds of the eight acres in the north yard to increase lay down capacity. They will also build another stuffing shed similar to one that was revamped last year at a cost of $350,000. The new one will be replicated in the north yard and be used in tandem with the one currently in use.

Additional track and equipment will add to the transload capacity of the facility.

Currently two full shifts of employees work Monday to Friday at the CN yard, with single shifts on Saturday and Sunday. Following the upgrade, there will likely be two shifts running a 24-hour operation with the ability to increase its lumber transload capacity to more than 30,000 containers annually.

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