Interchange - Winter 2012 - (Page 46)

Safety takes center stage at the 2012 Canadian Rail Summit In a country that boasts the third largest railway network in the world, one that transports the fourth largest volume of goods, safety can become a cause for concern. But despite the healthy activity on Canada’s railways, the nation has hung its hat on its rail safety record in recent years. And as more trains are moving more goods and people, safety on and around the rails is improving. The country’s supply chain is working around the clock to transport its wealth of resources to growing markets and urbanization is commonplace in major Canadian cities. But despite the spike in activity, incidents are being reduced. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board – an independent agency that advances transportation safety – reported that in 2011, rail accidents were down five percent from the previous year and down 15 percent over the past five years. This trend is not a coincidence. Teams from Canada’s freight and passenger railways are taking initiatives to deliver consistent improvements across the industry. Four of these efforts were recognized in the form of the 2012 Safety Awards, which were presented at October’s 2012 Canadian Rail Summit, hosted by the Railway Association of Canada in Montreal. The Safety Award officially recognizes the rail industry’s contribution to safe transportation and encourages the industry to continue adopting better working and operating practices, as well as enhancing general public awareness of rail safe practices. VIA Rail Canada was awarded for its conference on high-risk railway crossing awareness. The nation’s only Class 1 passenger service sparked safety discussions by gathering community safety leaders at the conference that was geared at mitigating potential risk with railway crossings. The conference attracted nearly 100 representatives from 33 separate agencies including municipal and provincial police forces, Transport Canada and the Chief Coroner of Québec. “We thought it would be a good idea to meet with the police in those areas and sensitize them to what the issues and risks are and secure their involvement and their buy-in to help us with the problem,” says Nicolas Panetta, a senior advisor with VIA’s safety and risk management team. With Canada’s railways moving 70 million people and more than 70 percent of the country’s surface goods each year, public and private crossings are busy with traffic. But despite the increased traffic and co-existence with motorists and pedestrians, Canadians still believe rail is the safest mode of transportation. In a national survey conducted by the RAC in March 2012, 80 percent of Canadians felt that rail was the safest mode of transportation. The poll found that this sentiment was the result of The Canadian Transportation Safety Board reported that in 2011, rail accidents were down five percent from the previous year and down 15 percent over the past five years. ALL PHOTOS BY RÉJEAN MELOCHE. Robert Rivest, left, Karen Lamothe and Sylvain Rodrigue, AMT. 46 From left, Claude Mongeau, CN, Jean Tierney, Nicolas Panetta, VIA, and Michael Bourque, RAC. Interchange | Winter / Hiver 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Interchange - Winter 2012

President’s Message
A Great Deal More Change Coming
New Lab will Tackle Canadian Railway Geographical Challenges
CN Adds New Terminal and Launches New Maintenance and Training Facilities
A Short Line is More than the Sum of its Tracks
VIA Transformation Paying Off
CRS 2012 Highlights Rail’s Position as a Backbone of Canadian Economy
2012 Safety Awards
Index to Advertisers

Interchange - Winter 2012