Statement

Canada’s railways support new federal rail safety program

OTTAWA, October 12, 2016 – The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) is pleased that the federal government’s new rail safety program addresses the two most pressing public safety issues associated with rail operations in Canada: trespassing on railway property and accidents at grade crossings.

RAC believes that increased federal funding for program-eligible recipients – including provincially regulated shortline railways – is an important step towards enhancing safety across Canada’s rail network. The association supports the federal government’s approach for replacing existing crossing infrastructure programs in favour of a corridor-wide, streamlined initiative, with public safety as its prime objective.

“Rail safety depends on collaboration between all levels of government, Canada’s railways and the communities through which we operate,” said RAC President and CEO Michael Bourque. “Supporting safety improvements along Canada’s railway network through a collaborative program will save lives. The Minister is to be commended for increasing funding but also for improving the programs that deliver these funds.”

The Rail Safety Improvement Program increases investment to support crossing improvements, closures and grade separations, among other initiatives. The program recognizes the importance of Operation Lifesaver, an organization sponsored by Canada's railway industry and Transport Canada, which works to raise awareness about the hazards surrounding rail property and trains.

Every year, approximately 100 Canadians die or suffer serious injuries as a result of motor-vehicle collisions at railway crossings or trespassing on railway property. According to Transportation Safety Board data, these types of accidents account for more than 85 per cent of rail-related deaths and serious injuries in Canada.

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Contact:

Alex Paterson
Railway Association of Canada
613-564-8111
apaterson@railcan.ca

About the Railway Association of Canada

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) represents more than 50 freight and passenger railway companies that move 75 million people and more than $280 billion worth of goods in Canada each year. The RAC advocates on behalf of its members and associate members to ensure that the rail sector remains globally competitive, sustainable, and most importantly, safe. Learn more at www.railcan.ca. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Media Contact:
Alex Paterson
Public Affairs Coordinator
Public and Corporate Affairs
(613) 564-8111
Email: apaterson@railcan.ca


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