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The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has announced the winners of its 2021 Safety and Environment Awards, which recognize members' contributions to safety and environmental pursuits.
In the safety award Class I category, the RAC is honoring CN for its autonomous track inspection program that employs various inspection technologies and methodologies to identify track defects. The program includes eight box cars equipped with solar and generator power devices, and electronic communication systems and servers.
“[The program] allows CN to realize inspection frequencies far above traditional means and provides unparalleled visibility into the safety and structural integrity of its track,” said CN Assistant Vice President of Safety Tom Brown in a press release.
In the safety award passenger-rail category, the RAC is recognizing VIA Rail Canada Inc. for its new coupler tool that removes and installs coupler assemblies on various cars and locomotives in service while helping to improve safety and efficiency. The tool eliminates the need for counterbalance weights and includes a mobile platform.
“Our mechanical services identified a risk and formed a cross-functional team with employees from various departments to collectively create an innovative solution that made the process of removing and installing the coupler assembly safer and more efficient,” said VIA Rail CEO Dominique Lemay.
In the environment category, the RAC is bestowing awards to Canadian Pacific and VIA Rail. The association recognized CP for its solar energy farm at the Class I’s headquarters campus in Calgary, Alberta. It is one of Alberta’s largest private solar farms and is expected to generate a surplus of electricity for the campus facilities.
“Implementing innovative solutions, such as renewable solar energy, are critical components of our climate strategy, helping to transform [our] operations and position our company as a leader for a low-carbon future,” said CP Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Technology James Clements.
VIA Rail Canada was recognized for the LEED Gold certification of its Ottawa train station, which was identified as a flagship station for piloting new sustainability and accessibility projects in 2016. The station received LEED Gold v4.1 certification for Operations and Maintenance for Existing Buildings in 2020.