Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra on Sept. 28 met with the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the Ambassador of Ukraine and officials from the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) during the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 41st Assembly to “identify areas of collaborative rail assistance to Ukraine.”
Following this discussion, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ukraine, Ukraine’s National Railway, Ukraliznytsia, and RAC, on behalf of Canadian railways, including CP and CN, established a working group to “support the reconstruction of Ukrainian transportation infrastructure and the resiliency of Ukraine’s rail infrastructure.”
Key objectives of the working group include:
- Supporting the rebuild of rail sector infrastructure.
- Maximizing rail capacity.
- Working with the Canadian rail industry to implement core objectives and expertise.
- Analyzing challenges to the movement of Ukrainian export-ready commodities by rail.
- Attempting to identify practical solutions with government and industry allies.
Based on the “significant experience and expertise” of CP, CN and other Canadian railways in transporting large quantities of commodities and operating a world-class freight rail system, Transport Canada says the railways will “provide input, guidance and recommendations in support of transportation-specific issues.”
“As a key ally and partner to the Ukrainian reconstruction efforts, the Government of Canada will leverage broader industry and supply chain partnerships that can help inform decisions on freight commodity movements by rail,” said Alghabra. “Together with our industry partners, we will ensure the continued movement of people and crucial commodities and products that are vital to supporting the wellness and livelihoods of Ukrainians.”
“Canada’s railways deliver reliably over more than 42,000 kilometers of track–as they have through two world wars and other major world events since Confederation,” said RAC President and CEO Marc Brazeau. “Overcoming logistical and other challenges, Canadian railroaders never shy away from stepping up in times of need and working together for the good of all. Our member railways have deep talent pools and a breadth of expertise to bring to bear in helping Ukrainians get food, energy and other goods to market at this incredibly difficult time.”