Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and Michael Bourque, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), announced a renewal of the voluntary agreement that will help reduce air pollutants and the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from locomotives that operate in Canada.

"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" said Minister Raitt.

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. Similarly, intercity passenger and commuter railways moved approximately 73 million people across Canada and within our major urban centres.

"Canada’s railway sector is reducing emissions while moving more people and goods than ever before," said Mr. Bourque. "Our Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister of Transport is a proven tool for continuously improving our performance. I want to thank Minister Raitt for her commitment to reducing emissions and for this collaborative approach to environmental improvement."

The renewed Memorandum of Understanding encourages all RAC members, including freight, intercity passenger, shortline and commuter railway companies in Canada to continue to voluntarily reduce locomotive emissions. The agreement 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. The agreement will also benefit the rail industry through fuel cost savings that will contribute to the competitiveness of Canada’s rail companies.