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RAC to honor rail safety efforts in Canada

CP won a 2018 RAC Safety Award for its Locomotive Engineer Training Simulation Program (pictured).
Photo – Railway Association of Canada


The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) today announced its 2018 Safety Awards.

The awards recognize RAC member companies' initiatives that help to ensure Canada's rail network remains "among the safest in the world," according to an RAC press release.

Four members — Canadian Pacific, VIA Rail Canada Inc., Cando Rail Services and Genesee & Wyoming Canada Inc. — were recognized for outstanding leadership.

"The programs, technologies and strategies recognized today are helping to advance rail safety in Canada," said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Brazeau. "It's important to note that so many of the initiatives emphasize safety culture which ... is a fundamental element an effective rail safety regime."

The award winners will be honored at a November ceremony.

The winners and their initiatives that will be recognized are:
• CP for its Locomotive Engineer Training Simulation Program and the classroom version of its Simulation Training for Conductors initiative. Using these simulators, trainees experience operating a locomotive on CP routes across North America. The simulation system presents trainees with various real-life operating scenarios, which they must master before they enter the field, and scores them on train-handling performance. The initiatives have resulted in more efficient on-the-job training at CP, RAC officials said.
• CP for its Predictive Wayside Detection-Bearings initiative. To mitigate safety risks associated with rail-car roller bearing failures, railways use wayside detectors to collect data about the state (temperature, vibration) of bearings on passing trains. While these data-acquisition systems are common within the North American rail industry, CP is the first railway to develop a predictive model. The state-of-the-art technology enables CP to identify deteriorating bearings three months prior to failure and proactively remove rail cars from service. Since implementing the model, CP has reduced in-transit bearing failures by 96 percent.
• Cando Rail for its Employee Safety Education Program, a full-day training session for all Cando employees. The program emphasizes safety culture and includes modules about safety management systems, hazard identification and more.
• Genesee & Wyoming for its Target Zero Training program aimed at strengthening organizational safety culture. This interactive, two-day training session is designed to prevent workplace accidents by helping employees become safety ambassadors and encouraging them to make safety part of every decision. Using practical exercises adapted to railway operations, the program also helps employees to better understand human behavior and address at-risk situations, while emphasizing the importance of effective communication.
• VIA Rail for its operational safety strategy. Based on three pillars — training, communication and monitoring — the railroad developed the strategy as part of a goal to enhance its safety culture.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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