The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and CN have reached an agreement in principal to develop the rail component of the Port of Montreal’s Contrecœur expansion project, MPA reported on April 6.
The companies, MPA said, “will define the technical aspects of the project’s intermodal service,” along with a private partner that will be retained to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new container terminal in Contrecœur, following a procurement process led by MPA.
The CN rail line is already in place in the area covered by the project, according to MPA.
(The Port of Montreal is served by both CN and Canadian Pacific.)
The new container terminal, to be located about 25 miles from Montreal (see map above), would allow MPA to handle up to 1.15 million containers (20-foot equivalent units or TEUs) annually. It would include two berths and a container handling area; an intermodal marshaling yard connected to the main rail network; a truck gate connected to the road network; and secondary facilities for port activities. Commissioning of the terminal and the start of port operations is anticipated by the end of 2026.
The terminal has financial backing—up to C$300 million from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and C$55 million from the government of Quebec—and early last year received a favorable report from the Canadian Impact Assessment Agency and a Ministerial Decision Statement allowing the project to proceed, according to MPA, which must agree to comply with 330 legally binding conditions that the decision sets out.
“Teaming up with the Montreal Port Authority and future partners allows us to design an efficient rail-served terminal to provide customers with a high-quality, consistent and safe intermodal service on our network,” CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson said. “This will help support our long-term, sustainable growth.”
The partnership will allow for “strategic, competitive and enhanced access to key markets such as Ontario and the U.S. Midwest, to the benefit of Port of Montreal user companies and the ultimate client, the consumer,” MPA President and CEO Martin Imbleau said.