Railways fire next volley in fight over which mode is the most environmentally friendly

by Canadian Shipper

The Railway Association of Canada says the country’s trucking industry has “ignored reality” in their recent attack on rail’s ability to reduce pollution and fuel consumption.

“The railways are already the most fuel-efficient mode of surface transport,” says Bill Rowat, president and chief executive officer of the association. “(And railways) will get even better through advances in technology, productivity and futuristic public policies.”

Rowat says rail already performs 63 per cent of the freight workload in Canada while generating just 14 per cent of freight Greenhouse Gas emissions and 3.9 per cent of all transport GHG emissions.

He calculates that rail currently has a five to one fuel efficiency advantage over tractor-trailers, and generates lower emissions of air pollutants such as sulphur, nitrogen, particulate matter and carbon monoxide per unit of freight moved.

Rowat says his association also plans to take to task the authors of a recent report on environmental impacts and mitigation strategies for North American trade and transportation corridors the basis for some of their assumptions.

The report in question was published recently for environment ministers in the three North American Free Trade Agreement countries and was recently publicized by the trucking industry, including the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

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