15,000 employees complete rail courses at CN’s two campuses

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
image description

Canadian National Railway (CN) announced April 4, 2016 that 15,000 employees have completed a range of railway training programs at its two education campuses since they opened in 2014. CN also unveiled plans to provide customer safety training under its new CN Campus Partnership Program.

Claude Mongeau, CN President and CEO, said: “CN attaining the milestone of training 15,000 employees at our two campuses reflects the re-engineering of how CN hires a new generation of railroaders and upgrades the skills of current ones. Sustaining a skilled employee base and instilling a strong safety culture in our ranks are critical priorities for CN as it builds for the future.”

“In the next stage of CN’s training evolution, we will offer safety-focused courses to our largest carload customers at our Winnipeg training campus starting this May. The CN Campus Partnership Program courses will deal with track, basic rail safety and the requirements of safe switching operations,” Mongeau said.

“We plan to roll out a similar customer program at our U.S. campus in suburban Chicago in the near future. Our target audiences will eventually include smaller carload customers, short-line railways, and intermodal customers. We think this kind of collaboration will help ensure safer operations throughout the entire railway supply chain and instill the same safety mindset CN has among its customer base.” CN adopted a new innovative approach to employee training when it embarked on its workforce renewal program six years ago. With the launch of that program, CN began to realize it needed more integrated and sophisticated employee training methods, including laboratories and digital learning tools. As a result CN built two new training centers at a total cost of C$60 million,” Mongeau said.

The Winnipeg center hosts employees from across Canada, while the Homewood facility accommodates employees from across the U.S. Opened in mid-2014, the training campuses provide consistent, quality training with a modern curriculum, coupled with skilled instructors, for jobs ranging from conductor to track maintainer, and car mechanic to supervisor. Employees receive hands-on training in learning laboratories with equipment such as locomotive, crane, and signal and communication simulators. The employees attending the facilities also appreciate outdoor labs with dedicated rolling stock and other equipment for field training.

Mongeau concluded: “Quality on-boarding and employee training are essential to attracting, retaining and developing talented railroaders who will work safely and help CN maintain its leadership position for many years to come. CN continues to innovate and adapt to changing forces and now we want our customers and other stakeholders to share how we think of and practice safe railroading every day of the year.”