Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian rail sector looks to further cut locomotive emissions

Class I freight has emissions reduction target of six per cent by 2015 under renewed agreement

OTTAWA—Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) have renewed a voluntary agreement encouraging railway operators across the country to reduce locomotive emissions.

The agreement encourages all RAC members—including freight, intercity passenger, shortline and commuter railway companies—in Canada to continue to voluntarily reduce locomotive emissions.

According to the two sides, it includes measures, targets and actions that will further reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from rail operations and includes a commitment to continue to monitor criteria air contaminants.

Under the agreement, Class I freight has an emissions reduction target of six per cent by 2015.

The agreement could also lead to fuel cost savings.

“The Government of Canada is taking action to help reduce air emissions that harm our health and the environment,” Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt said in a statement.

“This agreement will help to limit emissions from rail sources and is another fine example of partnership and collaboration between our Government and the rail industry.”

In 2010, the rail sector transported about 71 per cent of total Canadian surface freight and accounted for approximately four per cent of total Canadian transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

“Canada’s railway sector is reducing emissions while moving more people and goods than ever before,” RAC president Michael Bourque said. “(The agreement with Transport Canada) is a proven tool for continuously improving our performance.”

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