New railway group wants more competitive rail industry

by Canadian Shipper

A new association of short line and regional railways says it supports reforms to federal transportation law that will make the railway industry more competitive and serve the public interest by moving Canadian goods more effectively and efficiently.

The Association of Regional Railways of Canada wants changes to the Canada Transportation Act, (which is currently under review by the federal government), that would ensure the viability of regional and short line railways and provide shippers with a competitive choice.

“Just as deregulation in the telecommunications industry led to greater competition and better prices for long distance customers, ensuring seamless access to rail infrastructure at competitive prices can greatly benefit businesses and enhance the economic viability of communities that ship goods by rail,” said ARRC Chairman Mark Mudie.

Mudie is also BC Rail’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

The founding members of ARRC are BC Rail, The Hudson’s Bay Railway, The Carleton Trail Railway, and Ferroequus Railway Company Limited. The members determined that their interests were best served in a new organization that specifically supports the interests of short line and regional railways.

“We believe that rail competition can be enhanced given a strong framework between short line, regional and Class One carriers,” said Mudie.

“The viability of short line and regional railways is a critical aspect of any successful transportation blueprint for the country. Our members, and other railways like them, provide an important employment base in communities outside major urban centres,” said ARRC spokesman Robert Ballantyne.

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