Improving CPR Sightlines at Crossings Brings Several Environmental Benefits



    OTTAWA, April 20 /CNW/ - Canadian Pacific Railway has won this year's
Railway Association of Canada Environment Award for the company's outstanding
effort to improve vegetation control around more than 1,000 of their
highway-railway crossings. Another 1,300 crossings will be done this year.
    Cliff Mackay, president and CEO of the RAC said: "The railway's primary
goal in the competition is to improve safety by applying ecological principles
which will lead to a more sustainable control of vegetation at their
crossings. The program is designed to shift plant species to low growing
vegetation which does not impede sightlines and requires much less ongoing
maintenance. Overall, safety is improved.
    CP is encouraging the shift in vegetation growth to low-growing plants
through targeted herbicide treatments and selective brush cutting near
crossings. Where vegetation and foliage tends to be of moderate density and
height, the railway is utilizing selective herbicides, so as not to interfere
with grass and other desirable plants. They are also using chemical injection
technology, which targets specific areas and minimizes the use of herbicides.
    In areas where there is a large mix of undesirable plants, cutting and
treating stumps with herbicides and spot application of select herbicides is
being utilized. In areas of environmental sensitivity, such as fisheries
sensitive zones and residential areas, cutting and treating stumps minimizes
the impact of herbicides. Cutting is also timed so as not to interfere with
nesting birds. Moving to low-growing plant life will also reduce the amount of
maintenance that will be required and minimize habitat disturbance.

    The annual Environment Award was created by the industry
association-which represents almost 60 member railways-to encourage Canadian
railways to adopt environmentally friendly practices and operational
techniques, and to support Earth Day, which is being recognized April 22. The
rail sector carries two-thirds of all surface-freight in Canada, and moves
63 million passengers each year yet generates only three per cent of surface
freight emissions.




For further information:

For further information: Roger Cameron, Director, Public Affairs,
Railway Association of Canada, (613) 564-8097, rogerc@railcan.ca; Gérald
Gauthier, Director, Industry Liaison, Railway Association of Canada, (613)
564-8106, geraldg@railcan.ca

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