CN will be revitalizing its company-wide employee training program to meet the learning needs of CN’s current and future railroaders. The initiative will be anchored by the construction of two modern training centres to be built in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

“These facilities will be the centrepiece of CN’s enhanced railroader training program,” said Claude Mongeau, CN President and Chief Executive Officer. “The centres in both Canada and the United States will include a modern training curriculum and equipment to effectively train a new generation of railroaders.”

The 100,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg will host 250 to 300 employees a week, and is expected to open in 2014. The 75,000-square-foot U.S. centre, which is also expected to open in 2014, will host 100 to 125 employees a week. New hires and existing employees working jobs ranging from conductor to locomotive mechanic, and from track supervisor to signal maintainer, will receive state-of-the art training at the centres. All new employees hired for operational positions in Canada will undergo training in the new Winnipeg facility once it has been completed. Over the last four years, CN has hired about 8,000 new railroaders as long-service employees retire and leave the company. Workforce renewal is a major priority for CN and will be in the coming years.

Employees attending CN’s learning centres will receive hands-on training with key equipment such as locomotive simulators and dispatcher stations. Outdoor labs with dedicated rolling stock and other equipment for field training also will be a key focus of the learning centres.

The training programs will have a uniform curriculum, with dedicated local staff at each location. The significant and ongoing investment in this program and these facilities is designed to strengthen CN’s safety culture and prepare a new generation of safety-conscious railroaders.