Home / Railways 101 Articles / Investment / Investing in Canada’s Critical Rail Infrastructure

Investing in Canada’s Critical Rail Infrastructure

Rail is one of Canada’s most capital-intensive industries. Our railways invest, on average, between 20 and 25 per cent of their own revenues back into their networks each year — more than $20 billion in Canada alone over the past 10 years — 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 2020, Canada’s railways invested $2.6 billion in new capital programs to support growth and service enhancements. Track and roadway reflected 48% of capital expenditures in 2020, followed by rolling stock (25%); buildings & related M&E (16%); and signals, communications & power (5%). The remaining investments went into various other types of equipment.

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. In recent years, Canadian railways consistently originate over 5 million carloads each year, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 100 million passengers rode the rails.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.