Historic Anniversary for the Railway Association of Canada
Ottawa - The Railway Association of Canada will mark the 90th anniversary of the creation of the Canadian Railway Association for National Defence today, October 23. The organization was created to expedite the flow of freight cars back from the U.S. to help the Canadian war effort during the first world war. The name was changed to the Canadian Railway War Board. Because the concept worked so well, the War Board was dissolved and the Railway Association of Canada was established on December 1, 1919.
Representatives from Canada’s railways first met in Montreal to create a volunteer, national board to coordinate related industrial activities regarding the war on October 23, 1917. Its purpose was to “render the most efficient possible service to the national cause.” The timeline of the Association’s activities was to be for the duration of the war, and gave general authority to formulate a policy of operation for all or any of the railways.
“The creation of the association marked a significant point in the history of the railway industry in Canada,” said Cliff Mackay, president and CEO of the modern RAC. “Their activities throughout the war years did not go unnoticed, and our continued work as a representative body reflects the importance of a national railway association. The RAC is proud to be a part of this storied history.”
In addition to coordinating efforts to return railcars that had been shipped to the United States, the Association also took responsibility for managing labour issues between the railways and their employees. Under the abnormal conditions of the war, it was deemed expedient that the Association manage these issues. After the war, the Association maintained this role for a number of years.
“It is perhaps not necessary that I should outline … the very wonderful work accomplished by the Canadian Railway War Board during the period of the war,” said E.W. Beatty , then President of Canadian Pacific Railway at the dissolution of the Board. “I do not believe that there is one single activity in Canada, throughout the war, that was more appreciated by the Government and by the people of Canada than the activities of the transportation companies and the Canadian Railway War Board.”
The RAC will recognize its historic anniversary through different events and initiatives during the year approaching December 1, 2009, said Mr. Mackay. “Suggestions are welcome.”
Director, Public Affairs
Railway Association of Canada
Railway Hall of Fame Inducts 2007 Nominees
Ottawa – The Town of Mount Royal, Quebec is among this year’s inductees into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame. The selection helps honour the heroes, technologies, leaders and communities of the Canadian railway industry.
A historically rich town that was created by the Canadian Northern Railway in order to finance the Mount Royal Tunnel Project. This Model City is one of the few completed projects in the wave of model cities that were planned at the turn of the 20th century. Today, TMR remains an integral part of the Montreal region and the CN system where commuter trains continue to operate on the original Canadian Northern route. In fact, commuter trains carry more than 60 million riders a year in Canada, reducing road congestion, fuel consumption and emissions.
Railways and Municipalities to Discuss Community Issues
Vancouver - Representatives from the railway industry, the shipping sector, municipalities and government will meet in Vancouver October 15 and 16 to discuss some of the successes and future challenges of growing cities and a growing rail industry.
The conference is part of a two-day event hosted by the Railway Association of Canada. It will feature their annual general meeting and committee meetings for members, a tradeshow and the conference on community issues.
Speakers at the Tuesday session will include Gordon Houston, Vancouver Port Authority; James Allen, Ottawa Central Railway; Helena Borges, Transport Canada, and Mayor Sharon Hartwell of Telkwa, B.C. She and conference moderator John Dalzell of CN are co-chairs of the RAC-Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ project steering committee.
“We are excited about the quality of the speakers and the topics that will be discussed during this workshop,” said Cliff Mackay, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada. “The participation shows that cooperation and communication are fundamental to building a solid relationship. The RAC is very committed to making progress in this area.”
The RAC and FCM have an on-going partnership. Recently, the two organizations signed a new two-year Memorandum of Understanding to work together to improve community relations.
The new agreement will build on previous work by the partners that dates back to May 2002. They have been working since then to improve municipal planning, develop new techniques for mitigating noise and vibrations, and further enhance public safety around railway operations.
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), representing city managers and administrators, has also joined the initiative’s steering committee. For more details, go to www.proximityissues.ca.
Railway Association of Canada
Railway Association of Canada and the Government of Canada keep Canadian Railways On Track with Environmental Goals
Railway Association of Canada and the Government of Canada keep Canadian Railways On Track with Environmental Goals.
The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) with Transport Canada and Environment Canada today announced and signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the rail sector in Canada.
The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, and Cliff Mackay, president and CEO of the RAC, were all on hand for the signing at the VIA Rail Station in Ottawa.
“We intend to improve our performance over the next five years,” said Mackay. “The key will be to continue working smarter, doing more with less, building teamwork and sharing knowledge and best practices across the industry and beyond.”
Canadian railways already carry 65 per cent of surface freight in Canada, yet only produce three per cent of transportation greenhouse gas emissions, Mackay explained. He said the new agreement will finalize a detailed action plan to help improve on this already stellar track record.
“Today’s agreement will allow us to continue and improve our environmental efforts,” he added. “We believe that this work is good for business, the environment and our great country’s future.”
Canadian railways have already accomplished a number of achievements regarding railway emissions and energy consumption. Rail freight’s fuel consumption per 1,000 revenue tonne kilometres declined 20 per cent under the previous agreement between the Railway Association of Canada and Environment Canada. In addition, freight greenhouse gas intensity from the rail sector declined by 15 per cent.
Director, Public Affairs
Railway Association of Canada
FCM and RAC Work Together To Improve Community Relations
OTTAWA, March 23, 2007 - The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) have signed a new two-year agreement to work together to improve community relations between the FCM members and railways.
Jean-François Trepanier, acting CEO of the 1,400-member FCM, and Cliff Mackay, President and CEO of RAC, which represents 56 freight and passenger railways operating in Canada, announced the agreement today on behalf of their organizations.
"Our communities are growing, and so are our transportation needs. We will continue to work with the railways under this agreement to improve communications and to develop benchmarks and guidelines to resolve disputes. We all know we can achieve more," said Mr. Trepanier.
"Rail currently hauls 65 per cent of surface freight and moves 63 million passengers annually," said Mr. Mackay. "We can help reduce road congestion, fuel consumption and pollution by building on our solid track record of environmental performance and working more closely with our community partners."
During the life of their previous agreement, FCM and RAC established a website (www.proximityissues.ca) with a wide range of information and contacts. The partnership also established several Community Advisory Panels, published the first comprehensive Proximity Guidelines and Best Management Practices resource, and developed and tested a formal disputesettlement process.
The new agreement is designed in part to deal with amendments to the federal Canada Transportation Act, expected to be approved during the current session of Parliament. These amendments will likely confirm that regulating railway noise is a federal responsibility and will require railways and municipalities to undertake a robust consultation and dispute-settlement process before federal regulatory agencies intervene in a dispute.
The agreement will also continue to build on previous work to improve municipal planning, develop new techniques for mitigating noise and vibrations, and further enhance public safety around railway operations.
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), representing city managers and administrators, has also joined the initiative?s steering committee.