Transport Canada seeks input on rail service data collection

Proposed regulation follows up on 2018 mandate

The Canadian government is pushing forward with its examination of what kind of service data it should collect from Class I railroads operating in Canada.

Last week, Transport Canada said it was accepting comments through Feb. 26 on what service and performance data it should collect from the Class I railways. 

The proposed regulation fulfills a requirement within the Transportation Modernization Act of 2018 in which the Class I railroads would permanently be required to submit service and performance data as well as confidential waybill data. Transport Canada currently receives both these data elements on a temporary basis, the agency told FreightWaves.

The end goal of this data collection is to increase transparency, Transport Canada said. 

In comparison, the Surface Transportation Board, a U.S. counterpart, collects waybill data and some service and performance data related to grain and coal movements and dwell times.

“Having access to detailed service and performance information for Canada’s rail sector will contribute to even more productive exchanges among supply chain members, as they work to move Canadian commodities to market in support of Canada’s economic success and recovery from the impacts of the pandemic,” Transport Canada said last week.

The proposed regulation is asking about the inclusion of “an enhanced suite” of weekly public service and performance indicators, as well as adjustments to the waybill reporting requirement to ensure the data is adequate for its intended purposes, Transport Canada said.

Transport Canada is also looking into requiring the larger Class I railways to report on the composition of their trains. Class I railroads with smaller operations in Canada would have new aggregated traffic reporting requirements to better reflect the scope of their Canadian operations, the agency said.

Comments submitted to Transport Canada won’t be available for public viewing but based on the feedback received, the agency could come out with draft regulation in the Canada Gazette, the agency told FreightWaves. Should this occur, there would be another public comment period to provide feedback.

More information on the proposed regulation is available here.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.