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The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) recently named CN, Canadian Pacific, VIA Rail Canada Inc. and the Roberval and Saguenay Railway Co. as the recipients of its 2014 Safety Awards.The awards recognize outstanding contributions to rail safety. The annual award program encourages the Canadian rail industry to adopt safe practices and promote safety awareness, RAC officials said in a press release."When you look at data and the variety of safety efforts being recognized today, it's clear why Canada's railways — freight and passenger railways big and small — are safe and getting safer," said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bourque.The association honored CN for its corridor risk-assessment initiative, which aligns with risk-reduction actions taken by the industry and regulators following the July 2013 derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Launched in late 2013, CN's initiative helps railroads assess risk more precisely through risk-reduction plans that include people, processes and technology, RAC officials said.CP won the award for its Canadian Rail Operating Rules user manual for train and engine employees, which aims to improve compliance with Transport Canada's operating rules by reorganizing rules based on specific scenarios. The manual is designed to provide students and employees a better understanding of how to apply the rules during day-to-day rail operations, RAC officials said.VIA Rail was recognized for its pilot program that's designed to reduce the time between a workplace accident and an employee's return to work. By collecting more accurate information on workplace accidents, VIA Rail has improved health and safety investigations, engaged employees and made the railroad a safer workplace, RAC officials said.The association presented an award to the Roberval and Saguenay Railway for using one of its rail cars to promote Operation Lifesaver Inc.'s public message about grade crossing and trespassing safety. The railroad collaborated with art students at the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi to design and paint the car, which other railroads can rent.
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