CN’s Tracy Robinson Named Railway Age’s 2024 Railroader of the Year

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Railway Age’s 2024 Railroader of the Year Award, the 61st annual, goes to an experienced and highly respected North American rail industry leader: CN President and Chief Executive Officer Tracy Robinson.

“Tracy Robinson continues the sweeping leadership evolution the railroad industry has been undergoing for the past few years,” said Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono. “She continues to break new ground, bringing fresh ideas and a perspective based on change, growth and service. Tracy is leading CN during challenging times, strengthening and transforming the company and solidifying its position in the North American and global supply chains. While she brought many years of experience to CN, including leadership positions at Canadian Pacific and in Canada’s energy sector, she is dedicated to developing a new generation of railroaders from diverse backgrounds.”

“I would like to thank Railway Age for this recognition,” said Robinson. “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire CN team, who does the essential work, day in and day out, to meet the needs of our customers and to safely move the economy. I am proud of our progress and excited about where we’re headed.”

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Tracy Robinson was named President and CEO of CN in February 2022 following more than 30 years in Canada’s railroad and energy industries. She joined CN from TC Energy, where she was Executive Vice President, and President of Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines and Coastal GasLink. Prior to joining TC Energy, Tracy spent 27 years at Canadian Pacific, including executive roles spanning Commercial, Operations and Finance. Tracy holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and a Batchelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan. Among many honors, she was named 2023 New CEO of the Year by The Globe and Mail Report on Business magazine.

Robinson will be presented with the Railroader of the Year award March 12, 2024 at the traditional dinner held at the Union League Club of Chicago, hosted by the Western Railway Club.

About Railway Age

Railway Age, established in 1856, is the North American railroad industry’s leading trade publication and the flagship of Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation. The resource of choice for nearly 30,000 professionals at the management levels of North American freight and passenger railroads, its coverage spans the entire industry with an emphasis on technology, operations, strategic planning, marketing, labor and management developments and regulatory challenges. Railway Age seeks to engage, inspire, and provide a voice to the rail industry. Since its inception, it has transformed from a magazine into a brand community, bringing the rail industry together. Simmons-Boardman also publishes Railway Track & Structures and International Railway Journal, and operates the Railway Educational Bureau and Simmons-Boardman Books out of its Omaha, Neb., corporate headquarters.

About CN

Stephen C. Host photo.

CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. CN’s network connects Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the U.S. South through a 18,600-mile rail network. CN and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Railway Age’s Railroader of the Year Award

The Railroader of the Year Award was initiated by Modern Railroads magazine in 1964 as the “Man of the Year” award. Railway Age acquired Modern Railroads in 1991 and has presented the award annually since then.

  • 1964: D. W. Brosnan, Southern Railway System
  • 1965: Stuart T. Saunders, Pennsylvania Railroad Co.
  • 1966: Stuart T. Saunders, Pennsylvania Railroad Co.
  • 1967: Louis W. Menk, Northern Pacific Railway
  • 1968: William B. Johnson, Illinois Central Railroad
  • 1969: John W. Barriger, Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
  • 1970: John S. Reed, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
  • 1971: Jervis Langdon, Jr., Penn Central Transportation Co.
  • 1972: Charles Luna, United Transportation Union
  • 1973: James B. Germany, Southern Pacific Transportation Co.
  • 1974: L. Stanley Crane, Southern Railway System
  • 1975: Frank E. Barnett, Union Pacific Railroad
  • 1976: Dr. William J. Harris, Jr., Association of American Railroads
  • 1977: Edward G. Jordan, Conrail
  • 1978: Robert M. Brown, Union Pacific Railroad
  • 1979: Theodore C. Lutz, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
  • 1980: John G. German, Missouri Pacific Railroad Co.
  • 1981: Lawrence Cena, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
  • 1982: A. Paul Funkhouser, Family Lines Rail System
  • 1983: L. Stanley Crane, Conrail
  • 1984: Hays T. Watkins, CSX Corp.
  • 1985: John L. Cann, Canadian National
  • 1986: Raymond C. Burton, Jr., Trailer Train Co.
  • 1987: Willis B. Kyle, Kyle Railways
  • 1988: Darius W. Gaskins, Jr., Burlington Northern
  • 1989: W. Graham Claytor, Jr., Amtrak
  • 1990: Arnold B. McKinnon, Norfolk Southern Corp.
  • 1991: Mike Walsh, Union Pacific Railroad
  • 1992: William H. Dempsey, Association of American Railroads
  • 1993: Raymond C. Burton, Jr., TTX Co.
  • 1994: L. S. “Jake” Jacobson, Copper Basin Railway
  • 1995: Edwin Moyers, Southern Pacific Transportation Co.
  • 1996: Robert D. Krebs, AT&SF, and Gerald Grinstein, Burlington Northern
  • 1997: Paul M. Tellier, Canadian National
  • 1998: David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern
  • 1999: Edward A. Burkhardt, Wisconsin Central Transportation Co.
  • 2000: The Railroad Worker (“Railroader of the Century”)
  • 2001: Michael R. Haverty, Kansas City Southern
  • 2002: E. Hunter Harrison, CN/Illinois Central
  • 2003: Richard K. Davidson, Union Pacific Railroad
  • 2004: Robert J. Ritchie, Canadian Pacific Railway
  • 2005: David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern
  • 2006: Richard F. Timmons, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association
  • 2007: William E. Wimmer, Union Pacific Railroad
  • 2008: Stephen C. Tobias, Norfolk Southern
  • 2009: Michael J. Ward, CSX
  • 2010: Matthew K. Rose, BNSF
  • 2011: Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern
  • 2012: David L. Starling, Kansas City Southern
  • 2013: James R. Young, Union Pacific
  • 2014: Joseph H. Boardman, Amtrak
  • 2015: E. Hunter Harrison, Canadian Pacific
  • 2016: Carl R. Ice, BNSF Railway
  • 2017: Thomas F. Prendergast, New York MTA
  • 2018: John C. Hellmann, Genesee & Wyoming
  • 2019: Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN
  • 2020: Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, Kansas City Southern
  • 2021: Keith Creel, Canadian Pacific
  • 2022: Keith Creel, Canadian Pacific; and Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, Kansas City Southern
  • 2023: Katie Farmer, BNSF
  • 2024: Tracy Robinson, CN
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