Moving the Economy

Global trade, critical to Canada's competitiveness, is being shaped by profound changes in transportation networks around the world. Canada's economic growth and standard of living depends on the efficient export and import of goods and resources and an efficient transportation system that allows for the secure and reliable movement of goods and people. Yet, the global economy is changing quickly with rapid growth in international trade and the establishment of new trade patterns-driven by reductions in transportation costs, improved technology and trade liberalization.

Total trade accounts for 60 per cent of GDP and rail is critical to the facilitation of our trade flows. Rail is vital to Canada's economy and society as they are an extension of the country's communities and the intrinsic link to the industrial and resource bases.

In recent years, rail has become the preferred mode of ground transportation, facilitating more than $75 billion in trade, and reinforcing its role as the backbone of an integrated supply chain that has helped move Canada’s resources to global markets.

Canadian railways shipped more than 337 millions tons in 2011, a 0.8 per cent increase from the previous year, while reducing emissions, spills and accidents. This record of improvement is a testament to the sector’s commitment to sustainability and safety and is one of the reasons why the Canadian public has expressed clear support for rail. 

The Rail sector has long advocated increasing the capacity and efficiency of the western port-rail and multimodal complex, and has backed this up with major rail industry investments, operational advances, cooperative arrangements and participation in entities such as the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council.

Rail is an essential part of Canada's transportation supply chain infrastructure and the backbone of the nation's economic competitiveness and prosperity.

©2014 The Railway Association of Canada. All rights reserved.

Rail Trends

The Railway Association of Canada's Rail Trends provides a ten-year composite of financial and operating statistics for a comprehensive review of the business of transporting goods and people by rail in Canada. This review covers virtually all interveners of rail - the Class 1s, regional freight companies, short lines, intercity passenger, commuter and tourist train... MORE >