Railways 101

Investing in Canada’s Critical Rail Infrastructure

Rail is one of Canada’s most capital-intensive industries. Our railways invest an average of 20 per cent of their own revenues back into their networks each year — more than $24 billion since 1999 — to ensure that Canada has a world-class rail system that is safe, efficient, and affordable.

Consistent railway investments will ensure that network capacity is available when it’s needed, and that Canada has an efficient, sustainable and safe rail system that Canadians can depend on.

Railways Pull Their Own Weight so They Can Handle Your Freight

The rail industry makes significant yearly investments in building, maintaining and upgrading its network. From modernizing signal control systems to replacing aging railcars and bridges, investing in safety innovations and expanding the capacity of intermodal yards, Canada’s railways pay for improvements with little to no public funding – unlike the trucking industry, which relies exclusively on publicly-funded infrastructure (i.e. roads).

In 2015, Canada’s railways invested $1.8 billion in new capital programs to support growth and service enhancements. The bulk of these investments went to track and roadway improvements (49 per cent), new buildings, machinery and equipment (17 per cent) and new railcars and locomotives (13 per cent). These investments also served to enhance the safety of Canada’s rail infrastructure, which is one reason why our railways are some of the safest in North America.

Canada’s Railways Investing in our Nation’s Future

Railway investments are increasingly important as freight rail shipments increase, commodity volumes shift, and passenger rail grows in popularity. The number of carloads moved by freight railways in Canada grew by 14 per cent in 2015, while intermodal traffic rose to a record high. More than 77 million commuters also rode the rails in 2015—a 27-per-cent increase over the previous decade. Consistent railway investments will ensure that network capacity is available when it’s needed, and that Canada has an efficient, sustainable and safe rail system that Canadians can depend on.