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Canadian railroad association honors freight, passenger roads' environmental and safety efforts

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) recently presented VIA Rail Canada Inc. and CN with 2009 environmental awards in the passenger and freight railroad categories. In addition, GO Transit and Canadian Pacific won safety awards, and short-line operator Central Manitoba Railway received an honorable mention for safety.

RAC, which represents the interests of 50 Canadian freight and passenger railroads, recognized VIA Rail for creating the Enviro Expo awards for high school students in cooperation with Youth Science Canada, VIA Rail employees, teachers and the public. The railroad presented the awards at 100 regional science fairs last year that involved more than 20,000 students.

RAC honored CN for developing a greenhouse-gas modal shift protocol designed to help assess the benefits of shifting freight transportation from truck to rail. The protocol recently was approved for use in the Alberta GHG Offset System.

Meanwhile, safety award winner GO Transit partnered with the Mikey Network and Toronto EMS Cardiac Safe City program to install 100 public-access defibrillators in coaches and stations. The devices can increase a person’s chance of surviving a heart attack up to 50 percent.

CP took home RAC’s safety honors for revising and updating a customer safety handbook with current health, security and environmental information. Third-party-caused train accidents on customers’ track have dropped 64 percent since the handbook was issued.

Finally, Central Manitoba Railway received the association’s honorable mention for its emergency preparedness week activities, which focused on employee skills and awareness, emergency responses and simulation exercises.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/20/2009