Under the agreement, the provincial government will invest up to $C 25m ($US 22.6m) in infrastructure improvements on the Newcastle subdivision. CN says it will invest a "comparible amount to operate and maintain the line, which will ensure the future of the Irvco – Nepisquit Junction and Catamount – Nelson Junction sections for 15 years. Infrastructure work is expected to begin in the spring.

However, CN will seek to discontinue operations on the 71km section between Nepisquit Junction and Nelson Junction because it says significant investment is required to maintain this part of the route, which has only limited traffic.

CN had previously sought to abandon 223km of the Newcastle Subdivision, which it acquired as part of its takeover of Quebec Railway Corporation in November 2008.

CN says it will now work with the province to develop freight traffic in the area.