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Pulling for Canada: Canada’s Railways Celebrate Safety and Environmental Leaders

OTTAWA, Nov. 29, 2023Canadian railways are consistently among the safest in the world. They’re also green and getting greener. Building on those track records, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) today unveils the winners of its 2023 Safety and Environment Awards, recognizing excellence and innovation.

“Safety is job one for all railroaders and it’s a key component of sustainability,” says RAC President and CEO Marc Brazeau. “This year’s award recipients are living proof of an industry-wide commitment to continuously investing, innovating, and improving as they pull for Canada. And because of that commitment, we all win.”

Bruno Riendeau, Director of Safety and Environment at VIA Rail Canada and Chair of the RAC’s Safety and Environment Awards Committee, adds: “Safety and environmental leadership are indicative of railways’ commitment to our customers and the communities we serve. The efforts we are recognizing this year showcase the vital contributions railways make as part of their daily operations to Canada as a whole.”

This year’s award recipients are:


  1. CN:
  • CN’s Enablon Go system provides real-time data on near-misses and hazards, ensuring swift action to prevent incidents.
  1. Cando Rail & Terminals:
  • Cando transforms safety reporting with its Good Catch Campaign, sharing positive employee involvement and enhancing hazard identification.
  1. Rocky Mountaineer:
  • Rocky Mountaineer’s non-punitive Incident Reporting System fosters a culture of open communication and continuous improvement in safety.
  1. Toronto Terminals Railway Company
  • Toronto Terminals Railway empowers employees with its Front-Line Safety Program, integrating ownership into common functions and promoting a culture of contribution.
  1. Metrolinx:
  • Metrolinx’s Text-for-Help initiative provides transit customers a discreet communication method for incident reporting, enhancing safety on the network.


  1. CN:
  • CN’s Lac Huit Mille Fish Pass Initiative showcases commitment to community and environmental stewardship through bank stabilization work along the Matapédia River.
  1. exo:
  • exo’s Sound Energy Management Program achieved a 7.3% reduction in annual diesel consumption and prevented 2,900 tonnes of GHG emissions in 2022 alone.

Safety, innovation, and environmental stewardship continue to drive excellence within the Canadian rail sector.

Quick facts:

  • In 2022, the average Canadian Class 1 train accident rate was approximately 40% lower than the average U.S. Class 1 accident rate.
  • Over the past decade, the Canadian Class 1 rate improved by over 20%. The Canadian rail sector’s dangerous goods accident rate improved by 49.1%.
  • While freight volumes increased over ten years, the number of accidents decreased.
  • Rail is the safest way to transport goods by land. Between 2009 and 2018, road accidents involving dangerous goods were 17 times more frequent than rail, and releases were 14 times more frequent in trucking.
  • Railways are three to four times more fuel efficient than trucks.
  • Just one locomotive can haul a tonne of goods more than 220 kilometres on a single litre of fuel.
  • More than 15 RAC members offer passenger rail services. Passenger railways directly employ more than 5,000 Canadians and support thousands more jobs in regional economies, including in vital tourism sectors.
  • In 2019, commuter railways in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec transported a record 101.9 million passengers; ridership continues to adjust and recover from pandemic lows.
  • Canada’s population is on track to grow by 14 million by the year 2100. Getting people out of cars and onto trains will have serious environmental benefits as each train keeps hundreds of cars off public roads.
  • VIA’s new fleet emits four to five times less pollution than cars and other forms of ground transport.
  • Canada’s railways provide the highest safety performance in North America, industry leading environmental innovation, and strong service – and they do it at virtually the lowest cost anywhere in the world.

Visit www.railcan.ca for more on how railways are pulling for Canada 24/7/365 and follow RAC’s social channels for more on this year’s awards and recipients.

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About the Railway Association of Canada

RAC represents close to 60 railway companies and more than 60 associate members (suppliers, consultants, etc.). Our freight railways get millions of people and $350 billion worth of goods across our country and to global markets 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 www.railcan.ca.

Connect with RAC on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Chris Day