The Canadian National Railway Co is to invite tenders to take over the operation of about 450 kilometres of railway in north-west Saskatchewan. The tender will be divided into two segments - the first running north from Warman Junction, 27 km north of Saskatoon, to north of Prince Albert and the second from Speers Junction, 50 km east of North Battleford, to the end of track at Meadow Lake. The lines carried 16,850 car-loads of traffic in 1996. 'The objective of the proposed network sale is to preserve and improve rail service on these lines in northwestern Saskatchewan,' said Francois Hebert, assistant vice-president business planning and network rationalisation. Since rationalisation laws were passed last year, Canadian National has transferred or discontinued 1,456 km of line and aims to rationalise 9,600 km of track by 2000.