OTTAWA, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, today marked National Railway Day by
highlighting the significance of railway transportation, the role it
has played in helping to build Canada and its continuing importance to
the nation's economy.
Last year, the federal government officially declared November 7 as
National Railway Day. The date commemorates the completion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 when the last spike was driven into
the ground at Craigellachie, British Columbia.
"The rail industry contributes enormously to our economy by moving
people and goods across vast distances. Canada's rail network is part
of a legacy going back to that historic last spike and one that helps
unite Canadians," said Minister Lebel. "The Government of Canada
recognizes the importance of maintaining a rail system that is safe,
efficient and stands as an example to the world."
Over the years, milestones such as the Railway Safety Act have enabled Canada to develop and maintain a robust safety regime on
an ever-expanding rail network and infrastructure. Canada today has one
of the safest rail transportation systems in the world that moves
approximately 70 per cent of freight on a tonne-per-kilometre basis and
around 70 million passengers a year.
Transport Canada commits funding and works closely with rail companies,
associations, provincial governments and communities to improve grade
crossings and carry out other safety enhancements. Through the Grade
Crossing Improvement Program, from which almost $14 million in new
funding was announced today, the department funds upgrades that help to
reduce the risk of collisions, fatalities and injuries at rail
crossings that pose the highest safety risk to the public. Transport
Canada also supports initiatives such as Operation Lifesaver, aimed at
raising public safety awareness about rail-highway crossings and
operations around railway tracks.
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SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information:
| Pierre Floréa |
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
| || || Media Relations |
Transport Canada, Ottawa