Railways launch French version of AskRail app

by MM&D Online Staff

OTTAWA, Ontario—Canada’s railways unveiled a French version of their AskRail app, now providing emergency responders with real-time information about a train’s railcar contents in both official languages.

Through AskRail’s mobile interface, developed by the Association of American Railroads and its members, including CN and CP, emergency responders across North America are able to see the contents of a railcar through a simple search, view railway emergency contact information, and reference resources to support incident response.

“We know that access to this information can help emergency responders at the outset of an incident to make informed decisions about how to respond to a rail emergency,” said Michael Bourque, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada. “Providing this application in both official languages is just one more way that Canada’s railways are working with communities across the country on emergency response training and preparation.”

Since the English version of the app was launched back in May, emergency responders―the only parties eligible to use the mobile application―have signed up to use AskRail in 255 Canadian municipalities. In total, more than 1,700 emergency responders are using the app across North America.

Canada’s railways must have comprehensive Emergency Response Plans in place for all dangerous goods, to ensure an immediate and comprehensive response in the event of an incident. AskRail would supplement railway procedures to promptly provide first responders with information about the materials carried on the affected train (information that is carried in the locomotive cab) in the event of an emergency.

Emergency responders wishing to access English or French versions of the AskRail app should contact CN at askrail@cn.ca or CP at community_connect@cpr.ca, depending on which railway is operating in their community. More information about the AskRail app is available at www.askrail.us.