Transport Canada Funding to Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change on Rail

Canada’s Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra has announced up to 5.4 million CAD in funding to support 20 projects under its Rail Climate Change Adaptation Program.

In recent years, extreme weather such as flooding and fires have impacted Canada’s rail industry. To prepare for such events, the government hopes to increase the resilience of its rail infrastructure.

Canadian Pacific Kansas City
Canadian Pacific freight train in British Columbia, Canada

The Rail Climate Change Adaptation Program supports the development of innovative technologies that can reduce the increasing risks and impacts of climate change on the rail sector.

The funded projects will help reduce the impacts of flooding, fires, permafrost degradation and extreme operational temperatures.

Minister of Transport, The Honourable Omar Alghabra said:

“Rail is one of the most efficient modes of transporting goods in Canada. To further reduce disruption, keep our supply chains even stronger, and ensure Canadians receive affordable goods on time, we must continue to work to reduce the growing risks and impacts of climate change on Canada's rail sector. This is why I am pleased to announce funding for 20 projects that will address supply chain and climate change challenges.”

A safe, resilient rail transportation system is critical to maintaining strong supply chains across the country.

Canada’s Supply Chain Task Force has recognised climate change as a driver of instability. This is due to events such as the July 2021 wildfires, which reduced railway operations by 30% and resulted in a daily loss of 163 million CAD in blocked shipment value.

In addition, flooding in November 2021 hindered the movement of goods at a value of more than 170 million CAD per day due to lost train capacity and increased congestion at the Port of Vancouver.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, The Honourable Steven Guilbeault said:

“We’re building a more climate resilient country, and investing in measures such as the Rail Climate Change Adaptation Program demonstrates the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment – underpinned by our work on Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy. This rail safety programme will help prepare for the effects of climate change and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our families, communities and the environment well into the future, which is the whole point of adaptation.”

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