December 24, 2007 / 6:58 PM / 11 years ago

CN Rail buys Alberta's Athabasca Northern Railway

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) extended its reach further into Alberta’s oil sands region on Monday with a deal to buy and rebuild the struggling Athabasca Northern Railway.

CN Rail will pay C$25 million for Athabasca Northern and pay C$135 million over the next three years to rebuild the 202-mile (323-km) rail line under a long-term agreement with three major shippers.

The Athabasca Northern, which runs from Boyle, Alberta, to near Fort McMurray, Alberta, had been threatened with abandonment because of deteriorating tracks. It was owned by Cando Contracting Ltd.

The track was previously operated by Canadian National, the country’s largest carrier. It repurchased four other northern Alberta rail lines last year. ($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Allan Dowd; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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