CN plans to build a 400-acre, $250-million intermodal and logistics hub adjacent to its main line in the Town of Milton, Ont., located approximately 30 miles west of Toronto. Milton has ready access to major highways reaching key industrial and commercial areas in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Claude Mongeau, CN President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “CN’s advanced intermodal and logistics facility in Milton will help us efficiently handle growing intermodal traffic. The new hub will benefit our customers and the regional economy by improving central Canada’s access to the key transborder market as well as the Pacific and Atlantic coast trade gateways we serve.” CN’s intermodal business — principally containerized international and domestic cargo moving in cooperation with trucks and ocean-going ships — is one of the company’s fastest growing business segments and its largest single business unit with 2014 revenues of more than $2.7 billion.

The new Milton facility will complement CN’s existing Toronto-area intermodal terminal in Brampton, Ont., which is nearing capacity, but will continue to operate for the long term. CN expects the new hub to attract more warehousing distribution centres (DCs) and associated employment — new DCs have opened near Milton in recent years owing to land availability and good access to the highway system. In addition, the facility is expected to facilitate supplying additional intermodal capacity and container availability for exporters located in the southwest area of the GTHA.

CN will submit a complete project description of the planned Milton hub to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for review. Mongeau said: “CN is committed to a comprehensive engagement process with the community at every step of this project in Milton.”

However, according to the Toronto Star, Milton City officials are firmly opposing the plan, saying the region’s growth management plan had earmarked the land in question for a mix of residential and commercial development, and does not want 1,500 trucks and four additional trains to be brought into Milton every day. Milton is in the federal riding of Halton, and federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is the Member of Parliament for Halton.