Michael Bourque, President and CEO
RAC Commentary
President's Message

On both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, we are solemnly reflecting on the one-year observance of a terrible tragedy. On July 6, 2013, 47 people were killed when a train hauling crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Que. Investigators have pored over the accident scene – one of the largest in Canadian history – in an effort to determine exactly what happened. While freight rail companies in our countries have excellent overall safety records, this horrific event, however anomalous, has brought about a re-dedication to safety. MORE >


Canadian Rail is Safe
Canada’s railways suffered high profile and unfortunate accidents last year, most notably the horrific tragedy in Lac-Mégantic. As a result, Canadians are justifiably concerned with railway safety in their community and their country. Several initiatives to improve safety, transparency and response are underway. (Click here for PDF of full text)

Fraser Institute Report on Intermodal Safety in the Transportation of Oil
The Railway Association of Canada takes issue with the Fraser Institute’s release earlier today of a report on the safety of moving oil by pipeline versus other modes of transportation including rail. The report is based on many of the same errors that were contained in a report penned by one if its co-authors earlier this year. (click here for full text)

Lac-Mégantic Tragedy
The rail industry has been greatly affected by the terrible event that occurred early Saturday morning, July 6, 2013 in Lac-Mégantic. (click here for full text)

Oil by Rail
Shipments of crude by rail have risen considerably over the last five years.  In 2009, Class I railways moved a minuscule 500 carloads of crude.  Fast forward to this year and current estimates are in the range of 130,000 – 140,000 carloads.  With an estimated average of 600 barrels per carload, that amounts to about 230,000 barrels per day.  (click here for full text)

Bill C-52

After many years of study and debate, on December 10, 2012, the government of Canada introduced Bill C-52 the Fair Rail Freight Service Act. This Bill is actually an amendment to the Canada Transportation Act and it would require a railway company, at the request of a customer (or “shipper”), to make the customer an offer to enter into a contract for service. (click here for PDF of full text)

A Supply Chain of the Willing
The Hon. Denis Lebel, P.C., M.P., Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the regions of Quebec, released the Final Report of the Facilitator of the Rail Freight Service Review on June 22, 2012 (The Dinning Report). (click here for PDF of full text)

Railways: On Track for Global Competitiveness
As early as 2005, rail customers were lobbying the government for measures that would help to “balance” the relationship between railways and rail customers. This led to the 2008 Rail Freight Service Review, then the appointment of Jim Dinning to facilitate discussions between rail customers and railways toward commercial outcomes.(click here for PDF of full text)

Canadians See Rail As Preferred Method for Growing Transportation Needs
A national survey conducted by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) shows Canadians have overwhelmingly positive perceptions towards rail. They envision rail as a growing component of the nation's future transportation system and embrace an increased presence of rail in the economy and in their commuter habits. (click here for PDF of full text)

Imagine What the TransCanada Highway Would Look Like Without Rail
The Canada of the future will be served by a highly-integrated logistics network that includes shipping, ports, terminals, railways, trucking, and others: one that is capable of delivering goods efficiently, allowing industries to compete globally. (click here for PDF of full text)

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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 >