MONTREAL, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), said Transport Canada's Section 33 Directive issued today under the Railway Safety Act will enhance the effectiveness of train securement procedures and safety across the Canadian rail industry.
Building on its robust train securement policies for unattended trains that are anchored on multiple safety defences, Mongeau said CN will adjust its safety practices to comply with the directive.
"The government's new safety rules will help to reduce the risk of unintended train movements that can lead to catastrophic accidents such as the one in Lac-Mégantic, Que.," Mongeau said.
"This rail accident, the most devastating in decades, will be thoroughly investigated by federal authorities to determine exactly what went wrong and what needs to be done to prevent such accidents in the future. This tragedy is a sober reminder to the industry that safety must be an absolute priority to prevent accidents from harming the communities and the environment railways must go through.
"Notwithstanding that accidents can always happen, the movement of hazardous material by rail is handled with a very high level of safety. The fact is that 99.99 per cent of dangerous goods moving by rail arrive at their destination without a release caused by an accident."
CN transports a wide array of products across its 23,000 mile network. These are essential to the North American economy and to communities across Canada and the United States. They include forest products, metals and minerals, grains and fertilizers, automotive products, petroleum and chemicals, coal, and a variety of consumer goods carried in intermodal containers. Any of these products, including those classified as dangerous goods, can be expected to move on any part of the CN rail network.
Mongeau said: "The safety of our operations and of the communities through which we pass is of the utmost importance to all of us at CN. The long-term improvement in our safety record is being driven by solid investments in infrastructure, rigorous track and train inspection, as well as a continuing focus on employee training and safety awareness. We also work closely with communities through TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response), a voluntary outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and to respond to a possible dangerous goods transportation incident."
CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.