Canadian National Railway

The Canadian National Railway (French: Canadien National) (reporting mark CN) is a Canadian Class I freight railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, which serves Canada and the Midwestern and Southern United States.

Canadian National Railway
Canadian National system map
CN 8951, an EMD SD70M-2
Reporting markCN
LocaleCanada and the contiguous United States
Dates of operation6 June 1919present
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Previous gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
narrow gauge
Length32,831 km (20,400 mi)
Canadian National Railway Company
Compagnie des Chemins de fer nationaux du Canada
IndustryRail transport
PredecessorCanadian Northern Railway
Founded6 June 1919;
102 years ago
FounderGovernment of Canada
935 de la Gauchetière Street, Montreal, Quebec
Area served
Canada, United States
Key people
Robert Pace[1]
Jean-Jacques Ruest
(President and CEO)
Margaret A. McKenzie
(Founder and CFO)
RevenueCA$14.912 billion (2019)
CA$5.593 billion (2019)
CA$4.216 billion (2019)
OwnerBill Gates through Cascade Investment (14.4%) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2.14%)

MFS Investment Management (4.8%)

Wellington Management Company (3.17%)

The Vanguard Group (2.77%)

BlackRock (2.4%)
Number of employees
24,000 (2018)

CN is Canada's largest railway, in terms of both revenue and the physical size of its rail network, spanning Canada from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia across approximately 20,400 route miles (32,831 km) of track.[2] In the late 20th century, CN gained extensive capacity in the United States by taking over such railroads as the Illinois Central.

CN is a public company with 24,000 employees,[3] and as of July 2019 it has a market cap of approximately CA$90 billion.[4] CN was government-owned, having been a Canadian Crown corporation from its founding in 1919 until being privatized in 1995. As of 2019, Bill Gates is the largest single shareholder of CN stock, owning a 10.04% interest through Cascade Investment and his own Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[5]

From 1919 to 1960, the railway was referred to as "Canadian National Railways" (CNR).