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Message from the President – June 2024

The RAC team was in Winnipeg last week – alongside other newly minted railroaders at CN’s Claude Mongeau Training Centre – and we saw firsthand the real and concerted emphasis our Class 1s place on railroader safety.

Railroading is physical work. It also comes with risk – especially if people take safety shortcuts. One wrong decision can change lives forever – for individuals, for teams, for entire communities.

These are lessons that are drilled into hundreds of trainees each week. That genuine commitment to safety was heartening to see up close. And we thank CN for the opportunity to spend several days on campus.

One of the most striking things for me was the diversity of the participants in training programs.

Women and men. Young and old. Second- and third- generation railroaders as well as many first-generation ones.

Rail today attracts people of all backgrounds and from different stages of life. Some are just starting their careers. Others are embarking on a new phase. And each new railroader gets a solid grounding in safe operations before heading off into their new roles.

With Canada Day just behind us and as another National Indigenous History Month ends, Team RAC is reflecting on the changing face of Canadian rail and, specifically, the role Indigenous communities will play not only in the future of rail but of Canada’s economic prosperity.

Rail is a key enabler of Canada’s economy and will remain so for generations to come.

With a workforce 35,000-strong that is growing and becoming more diverse all the time, it’s exciting to know that those who will write the next chapters of Canada’s rail story will do so with safety and inclusivity as founding principles.