The Government of Canada delivers on a rail freight service review: final terms of reference announced and request for proposals issued



    OTTAWA, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The final terms of reference for the rail
freight service review have been established and the first stage of the review
is set to begin. The review will examine the services offered by CN and CPR to
Canadian shippers and customers. A request for proposals (RFP) has been issued
for some of the work to be completed in the first stage of the review.
    "The fact that we are moving forward with this review is good news for
shippers of a broad range of commodity groups and will benefit grain farmers
as well. Our priority is to have an effective, efficient, consistent and
reliable rail transportation supply chain," said the Honourable Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "I am
particularly interested in the development of indicators that would help
monitor system performance and expedite improvements when problems arise."
    When the government tabled amendments to the shipper protection
provisions of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) last year, it announced its
commitment to conduct a review of railway service to commence after the
amendments were passed. Bill C-8 received Royal Assent on February 28, 2008
and draft terms of reference were released for stakeholder comments on April
7, 2008. The terms of reference have now been finalized and the review process
is moving forward. The final terms of reference can be found at
www.tc.gc.ca/pol/en/acg/acgb/freight/terms-final.htm.
    An RFP has been issued for two of the key projects under the first stage.
The first project will focus on describing key elements of the logistics chain
and conducting a quantitative analysis of the railways' ability to fulfill
shipping orders and to provide consistent transit times in moving traffic from
origin to destination. The second project will examine operating practices
within the rail-based logistics system and identify those practices that
adversely affect service to shippers.
    The scope of the review will include Canada's rail-based logistics chain
(including shippers, terminal operators, ports and vessels). The review will
focus on service provided to Canadian shippers and customers by CN and CPR
within Canada, including to and from ports and border crossings.
    The review will be conducted in two stages and may take up to 18 months
to complete. The first stage will consist of analytical work to achieve a
better understanding of the nature and extent of problems within the logistics
chain, with a focus on railway performance. This analysis will help focus
discussion on solutions and reduce the reliance on anecdotal evidence.
    The second stage of the review will be led by a panel of three eminent
persons who will develop and consult on recommendations to address problems
that are identified. The panel will be established near the completion of the
first stage. A final report will be submitted to the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities.

    Transport Canada invites interested parties to submit written comments at
RFSR-ESMF@tc.gc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Catherine Loubier, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa,
(613) 991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055;
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and
speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to date on the latest from
Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative
formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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