CP tells employees to hit the rails

Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) says it will eliminate some 4,500 jobs by 2016 and expects more than a third of those to come by year-end as the struggling railroad works to bring down its operating costs.

The Calgary-based company says the reductions will be achieved through job cuts, attrition and fewer contractors as part of its restructuring plan.

The company says it expects 1,700 positions to be eliminated by the end of the year.

CP will move its current corporate headquarters in downtown Calgary to new office space at its Ogden Yard by 2014.

It says it will also explore options including the potential to sell surplus real estate, the Delaware and Hudson line in the U.S. Northeast.

The railroad company also announced it's seeking potential buyers for a U.S. line that stretches about 1,000 kilometres across several states in the U.S. Midwest.

The strategic moves are the latest for the railway since a new board of directors installed Hunter Harrison as its chief executive officer in the summer.

Harrison is an American-born retired CEO of Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) and is credited with turning the Montreal-based company into the most efficient major railway in North America.

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