Canada's Rail Businesses are Shaping Nation's Future

Railway Association of Canada unveils strategic vision for Rail in Canada to 2030

OTTAWA, May 17 /CNW/ - An organization clearly focused on the future, with member roots stretching back to Confederation, today unveiled a new face to the world. This is a clear signal, coming from the transportation sector's most efficient, environmentally sustainable and safe mode of moving people, goods and the economy, that Rail is already thinking well beyond trains to the entire supply chain.

Green, innovative and vital, Rail today is helping to power the Canadian economy. The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and its members are helping to inform the conversation Canadians are having about transportation and the broad changes that investment in innovation will realize in the transportation system right across Canada. By changing the language, the dialogue and the communication methodologies to better reflect Rail now, the RAC plans to broadcast its members' role as the backbone of the transportation sector in Canada. 

Backbone of the Canadian Economy

Rail helps build competitive advantage for communities across Canada as the innovative and essential backbone of the transportation system. It embraces an efficient, growing, safe, secure and environmentally sustainable model to move the Canadian economy.

Today Rail moves over 70 million people and 75 per cent of all surface goods every year, relieving road congestion and helping limit harmful emissions.  Rail is growing throughout Canada and its more than 35,000 employees help provide safe and secure access to national and international markets for its customers, enabling Canada to successfully grow and compete in this, the 21st century.

"Make no mistake: Rail has been and will continue to be the backbone of the Canadian transportation system," said Cliff Mackay, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada. "Canada's rail sector has made tremendous progress that positions it at the top in terms of transportation safety, innovation and environmental sustainability."

To support a shared vision, the business of Rail has been investing $2 billion a year to ensure its position as the innovative, safe, environmentally sustainable economic engine of Canada. Rail 2030 is an initiative of the Railway Association of Canada to develop a common industry vision for the future of Rail. To achieve this, Rail will work together with stakeholders such as ports, terminals and shippers to remove barriers, find solutions and encourage co-operation.

"We are developing a bold vision for 21st century transportation that communicates the role Rail can play in improving the supply chain and advancing Canada's economic development and competitiveness," said Cliff Mackay. "Industry, government and academic researchers are actively examining new approaches and seeking solutions to address transportation challenges such as infrastructure renewal, congestion, rising energy costs, environmental concerns and mobility."

In a recent address to both public and private sector partners in the Rail business, the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, at the time, recognized the continuing importance of Rail to Canada's economic future. Rail is, he said, a key part of the North American supply chain and global trading network that stretches to and from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Minister Strahl also underlined the value of partnerships and collaboration in fostering transportation research for an increasingly knowledge-driven sector.

"Our vision is of a future integrated transportation system that is sustainable, competitive, safe and secure, serving the needs of shippers, passengers and all Canadians," said Minister Strahl. "Our government will be working in partnership with you, your colleagues in other modes and your stakeholders to remove barriers, find solutions and encourage co-operation."

Driven by Innovation for Safety and Environmental Sustainability

Canadian Rail innovation continues to generate new ways to efficiently move people, goods and the Canadian economy. New fuels, idling technologies, digital communications and EPA-compliant locomotives have helped to reduce fuel consumption, thereby emitting 79-85 per cent less particulate matter per tone-km of freight hauled. Rail's investment in technology also makes it the safest in North America and provides by far the safest means of ground transportation in Canada.

Careers in Growth

Approximately 35,000 people are employed in Canada's Rail businesses with an additional 60,000 indirect jobs in a network of suppliers and distributors. Rail increasingly requires men and women with technical training or post‐secondary degrees in engineering, and advanced trades. This skilled workforce and hundreds of millions of dollars invested in new technologies have contributed to a sharp increase in the productivity of Canada's Rail businesses over the past decade. Rail in Canada will continue this trend by implementing significant new hiring programs in the next few years.

A New Conversation About Rail in Canada

In support of these initiatives, the Railway Association of Canada today launched a new corporate brand, which includes a new logo, tag line, visual identity and website. The intent of the new brand, captured in the tagline "Moving People, Goods and the Economy," communicates in five words what Rail does and speaks to its powerful impact on Canada 24/7/365.

About the Railway Association of Canada

The Railway Association of Canada represents some 50 goods, tourist, commuter and intercity Rail businesses in Canada, their more than 35,000 employees and over 45 associate suppliers and partners. RAC acts to inform officials, develop programs, policies and resources and respectfully communicate with the public and media to strengthen the role and capacity of Rail to deliver leading services that are economically viable, socially cohesive, future focused and environmentally sustainable.

More information on Canada's Rail business can be found at:


For further information:

Paul Goyette
Railway Association of Canada

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