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RAC releases Rail Trends 2018

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) today released the 2018 edition of Rail Trends, the association’s annual report summarizing the performance of Canada’s railway industry. Rail Trends 2018 contains performance data from 2017, and a rolling 10-year review of statistics, reflecting multiple aspects of railway performance: from safety and fuel efficiency, to infrastructure investment and productivity.

“Canada’s railways saw record results in 2017,” said Marc Brazeau, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada. “By focusing on increasing both safety and performance, the railway industry experienced increased traffic and carloads, reduced freight rates, lower accident rates, and saw a significant increase in investments and taxes paid.”

Highlights (2017):

  • freight rail traffic, as measured in revenue ton-miles, increased by 7.4 per cent over the previous year;
  • Canadian railways moved a record number of originated carloads – more than 5.2 million – and reduced freight rates for a second year in a row;
  • passenger carriers transported a record-high of 84.4 million people in 2017;
  • both freight and passenger railways experienced their lowest accident rates on record, while the rate of accidents involving dangerous goods was at an all-time low; and
  • more than $1.8 billion was invested into the Canadian network, and $1.7 billion in taxes were paid.

The data in Rail Trends is reported by RAC members companies: Class 1 and shortline freight railways, as well as tourist, inter-city and commuter passenger railways. Canadian-owned Class 1 freight railways account for the majority of freight rail activity in Canada. While RAC represents the vast majority of non-Class 1 railways in Canada, it does not represent the entire sector.  This is the 26th edition of Rail Trends.

About the Railway Association of Canada

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) represents some 60 freight and passenger railway companies that move more than 84 million passengers and $280 billion worth of goods in Canada each year. The 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. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Victoria Savoy
Manager, Communications
(613) 880-7324