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RTC Rail Solutions: Doing well by doing good – now and for the future

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There is an old saying that you do well by doing good.

When RTC Rail Solutions (RTC) talks about rail’s transformation from “old days” to today, ‘good’ is notably absent. And that old saying takes on renewed meaning.

“Railways across North America and particularly in Canada have transformed their operations, track maintenance and corporate responsibility over the last quarter century,” says Tim DeMarco, Project Manager at RTC. “It’s a remarkable commitment and environmental contribution that a lot of people don’t fully understand.”

Tim points to the multi-billion dollars Canadian railways spend annually on improving track infrastructure and operational efficiencies that have reduced emissions intensity by double digit percentages and made rail the greenest way to move people and goods over land, en masse.

“Trucks have a vital role, of course, but trains are unbeatable when it comes to delivering the goods for our environment,” says Tim, while pointing to the fact that each railcar shipment takes 4 trucks off our roads. “That’s up to 800 trucks’ worth of emissions saved by a single train.”

He adds: “Users of railway systems should be recognized as patriots of environmental preservation.”

One of the ways RTC contributes actively to bolstering rail clients’ sustainability is by helping them dispose of railway ties in environmentally responsible ways.

“Railway infrastructure consists of steel, rock, and wood. And rail ties today are designed to last several lifetimes,” explains Tim. “They’re protected with creosote. So, when they need to be replaced, they need to be disposed of with care.”

Gone, he says, are the “old days” when companies could leave the ties off to the side of their tracks. Now, to prevent leeching and protect surrounding lands, RTC transports the ties – sometimes up to 1,000 kilometres away – to specialized disposal facilities where they are treated and destroyed safely.

Says Tim: “This is such a better practice from an environmental sustainability perspective. It comes at a financial cost. But our clients tell us they would rather pay up front and do disposal right than risk passing on much larger costs and risks to future generations.”

RTC says its clients across North America are actively looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprints by changing how they do what they do.

RTC has been providing railway management services in Canada and the United States since 1998. Based in Prince George, B.C., RTC designs site-specific programs in:

  • Operations training and optimization
  • Regulatory compliance (including SMS design and implementation)
  • Engineering (inspection, track design and maintenance)
  • Track geometry (GEO) testing

In these services and others, RTC is proud to say it is “working with our railways to make tomorrow a better world.” They’re also proving the business benefits of ditching certain “old days” practices and the wisdom of that age-old saying of doing well by doing good.