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Another Strong Year for Canadian Railways

OTTAWA – MARCH 12, 2021  – The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) today released its latest Rail Trends report – showcasing the performance of Canadian railways over the 2010 to 2019 period. “2019 was another strong year for Canadian railroaders” said Marc Brazeau, President and CEO of the RAC. “While setting all-time records in passenger trips, investment, and taxes paid to Canadian governments, they continued to deliver in the key areas of safety, innovation, environmental stewardship and growth.”

Key highlights from 2019:

  • In 2019, Canada’s railways originated 47 per cent more carloads and moved 47 per cent more passengers than they did in 2010;
  • RAC passenger railway members achieved a new milestone of completing over 100 million passenger trips, removing cars from our congested roads and making our cities more livable;
  • RAC members’ top priority has always been safety and our collective actions in this area in 2019 speak to this commitment. Despite their impressive safety record, Canada’s railways continue to make significant annual investments in training, infrastructure and leading-edge safety technologies.
  • Over the past decade, the freight accident rate has decreased by 20 per cent and the passenger accident rate has decreased by 59 per cent to less than 0.5 accidents per million travellers.
  • Over the last decade, RAC members invested $19.5 billion into their Canadian networks.
  • From 2010 to 2019, Canada’s railways provided $13.8 billion in taxes to Canadian governments.

Rail is the backbone of Canada’s economy. RAC members transport more than 100 million passengers and more than $320 billion of goods across Canada, annually. And through significant investments in infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies, rail is integral to growing Canada’s future economy.

The full Rail Trends report is available at railcandev.wpengine.com/resources. Data for 2020 will be covered in next year’s report. Regional/provincial 2019 snapshots are also available upon request.


About the Railway Association of Canada

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) represents close to 60 freight and passenger railway companies that transport over 100 million passengers and $320 billion worth of goods in Canada each year. 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 railcandev.wpengine.com.

Data Contact:
Jonathan Thibault
Manager, Economics, Data and Research

Media Contact:
Stéphanie Montreuil
Senior Director, Communications and Media Relations, Railway Association of Canada