OTTAWA, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief
executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), said today Canadian
railways have a solid record of improving their overall safety
performance and remain committed to achieving further safety gains.
Mongeau, speaking to The Canadian Chamber of Commerce's International
Trade Day, said: "The devastating rail accident in Lac-Mégantic, Que.,
last summer remains a sobering reminder that safety must be an absolute
priority to prevent accidents from harming communities and the
"Rail safety is understandably under intense scrutiny as a result of the
Lac-Mégantic accident. But as we engage in a review of what the rail
industry can do to further improve safety, we should not lose track of
the industry's strong safety record and the significant improvement
trends achieved in recent years. The fact is that railways' mainline
accident rate per million train miles declined by more than 40 per cent
between 2001 and 2012 as a result of sizable investments in rail
infrastructure, improved safety processes and a continuing focus on
employee training and safety awareness.
"Another fact to keep in mind is that railways move hazardous materials
with a high level of safety. A full 99.997 per cent of rail movements
of dangerous goods - many of which are essential to the North American
economy and communities across the continent -- arrive at their
destination without a release caused by an accident."
Mongeau said CN and the rail industry are responding proactively to the
Lac-Mégantic accident by taking a comprehensive view on ways to achieve
further safety improvements. Rail industry partners are also taking
steps to ensure safe loading and unloading procedures, properly
identify dangerous goods, and look at ways to improve tank car safety,
Mongeau said CN understands that communities have the right to know more
about the types of commodities moving their midst. "CN already works
closely with communities by helping them prepare for and to respond to
a possible dangerous goods transportation incident.
"But we are doing more. We recently launched a comprehensive outreach
program along our network to inform emergency responders and civic
officials about the types of commodities that are moving through their
communities and the relevance of those commodities to local economies.
Our goal is to be transparent and underscore our commitment to provide
emergency training and support communities in the event of a rail
Mongeau said regulators can also play a lead role in determining the
future course of rail safety. "The rail industry is working closely
with all regulators. As we move forward in our review, I believe a
fact-based, balanced and consultative approach to any proposed
regulatory changes will be vital to make sure we make sustainable
"CN's commitment to safety is unwavering, and we're dedicated to working
with all stakeholders who have an interest in making what already is a
solid rail safety record even stronger."
CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) is a true backbone of the economy,
transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a
wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to
manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning
Canada and mid-America. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along
with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the cities and ports
of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and
Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton,
Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior,
Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North
America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.
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