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8/13/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Canadian government to launch first stage of freight-rail service review


The Canadian government has finalized the scope of a freight-rail service review's first stage and has issued a request for proposals for some of the analysis work to be conducted under the stage.

The review calls for examining Canada's rail-based logistics chain (including shippers, terminal operators, ports and vessels), and services offered by Canadian National Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway to Canadian shippers.

The first stage's initial project will focus on identifying key elements of the logistics chain, and conducting a quantitative analysis of the railroads' ability to fulfill shipping orders and provide consistent transit times. A second project will center on operating practices within the rail-based logistics system and identifying practices that adversely affect service for shippers.

"Our priority is to have an effective, efficient, consistent and reliable rail transportation supply chain," said Lawrence Cannon, Canada's minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, in a prepared statement. "I am particularly interested in the development of indicators that would help monitor system performance and expedite improvements when problems arise."

The entire review will be conducted in two stages and might take up to 18 months to complete, according to the Canadian government. The second stage will be led by a three-person panel, which will develop and consult on service-improvement recommendations. The government expects to establish the panel after the first stage nears completion.


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