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Canada’s Railway Industry: On Track Towards Lower Emissions

Canada’s railways continued to make progress towards their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets, according to the latest Locomotive Emissions Monitoring (LEM) report. Released today by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), the report documents emissions of GHGs and criteria air contaminants (CACs) from locomotives operating in Canada in 2018.

“Sustainability is a key pillar of our Right Track initiative, and our industry has been making countless changes to improve their operations every day,” explains President and CEO Marc Brazeau. “As an industry we can be proud to say that Canada’s rail sector is indeed on the right track when it comes to lowering emissions, and this is having a positive, long-term impact on the communities we serve.”

“Tackling climate Change is one of the main priorities of our government. Canada has set ambitious targets to ensure we have a healthy future and economy. As transportation accounts for 25% of Canada’s emissions, reducing the pollution of the sector is crucial to achieving our climate goals and rail is a key part of fulfilling this ambition,” said the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra. “I commend the Railway Association of Canada for its ongoing efforts to help Canada progress toward a greener economy, and look forward to our continued collaboration.”

In the report, you will find key data that showcases the industry’s commitment to innovation and improving its emissions performance. In 2018, both freight and passenger railways made progress towards their 2022 GHG targets. Class 1 freight railways improved their emissions intensity (GHGs per revenue tonne-kilometre) by 0.80%. Similarly, intercity passenger railways improved their emissions intensity (GHGs per passenger-kilometre) by 0.66%. Overall, the emissions intensity of freight railways has improved by 45% since 1990.

As always, railways continue to implement several initiatives to reduce both GHG and CAC emissions. Some examples include locomotive horsepower optimization technology, training for locomotive engineers to improve efficiency, research and use of renewable fuel blends, investing in modern locomotives, and equipping over 2,000 locomotives with anti-idling devices.

The 2018 report was released under the current, 2018-2022 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between RAC and Transport Canada. This is the first report prepared under the current MOU. Industry-Government collaboration dates to 1995, when the first MOU was signed between both parties.


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.

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