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Rail News: Safety

Canadian rail association honors roads' environmental, safety achievements


On Tuesday, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) presented the RAC Environment and RAC Safety awards, which recognize railroads’ environmental sustainability and safety efforts.

The association bestowed RAC Environment Awards to CN and Canadian Pacific. CN was recognized for its HPTA fuel efficiency team, which developed a web-based, real-time application designed to instruct engineers on a specific locomotive power output required to conserve fuel and maintain scheduled performance. The system-wide initiative helped reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions over the last two years, according to the RAC.

The association recognized CP for its Genset locomotive testing program launched the past two years in southern Ontario. CP acquired two Tier 2 Gensets for yard switching operations that can cut fuel usage about 35 percent and reduce nitrous oxide emissions compared with a conventional yard switcher.

“Through ongoing initiatives such as these undertaken voluntarily by the sector, rail's environmental GHG emissions continue to shrink below 1990 despite a substantial increase in railway traffic,” said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Cliff Mackay in a prepared statement.

The association also presented the RAC Safety Award to VIA Rail Canada Inc. for its grade crossing closure program. A “one-on-one personal approach” with affected parties through which “logic and common understanding prevailed” led to a high success rate in closing crossings, RAC officials said.

“The number of crossing collisions in Canada has fallen dramatically from over 800 annually 30 years ago to approximately 200 in 2010," said Mackay. “Working with our partners in government, initiatives such as VIA Rail's demonstrate the industry's unrelenting efforts to reduce the potential for fatality and injury incidents.”

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More News from 10/19/2011