Continuing Improvements By Canadian Railways



    OTTAWA, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Canadian railways set new records in 2006,
carrying more freight and passengers than ever before while increasing their
productivity.
    The information is captured in the 2007 Railway Trends publication, an
annual composite of financial and operating statistics and a rolling 10-year
report on key indicators of the 58 freight and passenger railways'
performance. It is now available on the industry's website at www@railcan.ca.
    Cliff Mackay, RAC President and Chief Executive Officer, said the
industry broke key records in 2006, but not as many or as remarkably as in
2005. It earned a record $10.6 billion in operating revenue last year,
6.8 per cent more than the year prior and 37.3 per cent greater than a decade
ago. The industry recorded its highest operating income to date, $2.4 billion,
an 11 per cent improvement over 2005 and more than double its operating income
10 years ago."
    "The numbers are large but so are the industry's capital and operating
costs. A modern locomotive today costs approximately $2.5 million and some
40 per cent of that value is in self-diagnostic electronics and information
systems that enhance its operating efficiency," said Mr. Mackay.
    He said: "Modern units can move a tonne of freight 169 kilometres on a
litre of fuel. Overall, Canada's railways transported 355.8 billion revenue
tonne-kilometres and carried 65 million rail commuters and inter-city
passengers while keeping their environmental footprint to three per cent of
surface transport emissions."
    Canada's railways operate an average of 775 freight and passenger trains
a day. There were 1,366 freight railway-related accidents in 2006, 49 less
than in 2005. The number of accidents based on the industry's workload has
continued to decline from 3.5 accidents per billion gross ton-miles in 2001 to
3.0 in 2006. The number of accidents per million passengers/commuters has also
gone down, from 1.4 in 2001 to 1.1 last year. Early indications for 2007 are
for continued improvement in both sectors.

    
    Other highlights from this year's publication include:

    - Short line railways originate 23.6 per cent of the industry's
      originated carloads. They feed traffic to and from the long-haul, high-
      volume carriers which, on average, move freight five times further to
      destination than short line railways;
    - Significant year-over-year declines in carloads of minerals, paper and
      forest products were almost offset by solid gains in carloads of
      agricultural, metals and intermodal traffic;
    - The most widely-used measurement of productivity in the railway
      industry, revenue tonne-kilometres per employee, improved 3.7 per cent
      year-over-year, and 64.4 per cent over the decade;
    - The industry has a smaller, better-trained and higher-paid workforce of
      34,558 employees than before - down 2.3 per cent year-over-year and
      down 25.2 per cent from a decade ago. Average wage, not including
      company-paid benefits, was $73,356 last year, up 1.9 per cent over 2005
      and up 34.4 per cent from 1997;
    - Major progress was made to expand Canada's international and domestic
      freight capacity through the Pacific Gateway Initiative in 2006. And
      RAC members and partners continued working towards a government-
      industry agreement, signed in 2007, that will inject $75 million in
      short line way infrastructure in Quebec to minimize transportation
      costs, ease highway congestion and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
    

    For further details, go to www.railcan.ca




For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Roger Cameron, Railway
Association of Canada, (613) 564-8097, rogerc@railcan.ca

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