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Canadas first Prime Minister Sir John A Macdonald felt that the installation of railway from sea to sea would bring the provinces together to create a unified country The railway service not only became a central issue of Canadian Confederation but it has also lead to the upbringing Canadas largest railway and fifth largest in North America yahoo Like many modern corporations Canadian National Railways was the result of merging smaller and older companies whose operations were combined to create a more complex and profitable system The Intercolonial National Transcontinental and Canadian Northern railways which had all come under the control of the Canadian government were incorporated as Canadian National Railways in 1919 Grand Trunk Pacific merged with CN in 1920 and this completed its second mainline between the East and West coasts Canadian National grew with the country CN railways currently operates nearly 16700 route miles serving every main port in Canada along with strategic ports throughout the United States including access to the Gulf of Mexico making it the only North American railroad to serve every coast They employ 22400 people and with a fleet of 1400 locomotives and 64 000 railcars Canadian National holds about 56 of the Canadian Market share in the transportation of industrial goods The main commodities for CN are grain and fertilizer which contributed to 22 of revenues in 2000 Forest products petroleum and chemicals and intermodal each contributed to about 18 and automotive coal and metals each supplied about 7 of revenues The company has always worked hard to keep itself efficient and profitable through innovation and technology During the 1920s CN developed Canadas first diesel-electric locomotives to reduce costs and improve service Since then the railway industry has undergone tremendous change due to technological innovations and the growing competition from automobiles and trucks The company stopped operating passenger trains in 1978 in order to concentrate on its main source of business freight trains Passenger railway
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