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The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are honoring the city of Montreal as the first-ever recipient of the Merrill Henderson Award.The award recognizes the contribution of individuals, groups, municipalities or railroads to the promotion of "Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations" that the RAC and FCM developed as part of a proximity initiative. The award is named after Merrill Henderson, who worked for CN for 40 years, was a Moncton city councillor, and a member of many FCM rail committees and working groups.Montreal has taken a proactive approach to identifying and planning new residential developments in proximity to rail operations, and is the first municipality in Quebec to pass a resolution to adopt the guidelines for new land-use planning, RAC and FCM officials said in a press release. Reflecting input from various stakeholders, the guidelines address issues concerning noise, vibration and safety, and focus on the increasing challenges associated with new residential developments."We consider the city of Montreal to be a role model for other municipalities across the province and country," said Sean Finn, the co-chair of the FCM-RAC proximity initiative. "We expect that they will influence municipalities large and small to see the value of adopting the guidelines and recognize that, by building better today, we will avoid conflicts in the future."RAC and FCM officials presented the award yesterday to City Councillor Anie Samson at the 2014 RSI/CMA Canadian Rail Summit in Montreal.