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Freight rail service and performance indicators

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Released: 2018-12-10

Statistics Canada and Transport Canada are working together to provide Canadians a more detailed picture of the country's transportation system and its operation.

On behalf of Transport Canada, Statistics Canada has released a set of freight rail service and performance indicators requested as part of the Transportation Modernization Act. The Act provides a strengthened suite of measures for all major freight rail companies, including new data provisions that improve the transparency of the supply chain, and help to proactively identify and address transportation challenges in the future.

Starting this month, Canada's major freight rail companies, including Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway, are required to submit specific data on their service and performance on a weekly basis. As of today, this information is available in four tables on the Statistics Canada website as well as a summary table on the Transportation Data and Information Hub of the Canadian Centre on Transportation Data.

Specifically, the tables include information such as average train speed, dwell times at origin and major terminals, the number of cars on line, causes of major delays and car order fulfilment for grain orders. This information is being collected and made publicly available to increase the understanding of how well Canada's freight rail system is working, and key areas where it can be improved.

The new data requirements under the Transportation Modernization Act will greatly improve transparency in the freight rail system in Canada, allowing shippers and the public to more closely monitor the network, supporting the early identification of service challenges before they escalate. This increased transparency will also encourage railways to communicate openly with their customers when they become aware of system challenges.

  Note to readers

The freight rail service and performance indicators are not collected under the Statistics Act. Under the Transportation Modernization Act, the data are reported by rail carriers to Transport Canada and then disseminated on the Statistics Canada website.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Alain Lumbroso (613-993-6254;

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