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CP helps raise awareness across North America for the need for rail safety

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Dry Bulk,

Rail Safety Week 2018 has begun and, for the first time, Canada and the US are reaching out to the community with valuable information on rail safety during the same week, 23 - 29 September. Throughout Rail Safety Week, Canadian Pacific (CP) is reminding the public that they must stay off of railway tracks and observe all laws when driving over rail crossings.

CP and the Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS) will conduct rail safety blitzes in communities across its network – with participation from other police agencies and schools to educate motorists, pedestrians and the general public about the role we each play in staying safe.

"All railway property, including tracks and surrounding rights-of-way are private. Unauthorised access by the public is illegal and hazardous. This includes walking on or around tracks, bridges, rights-of-way or rail yards. Trespassing laws are designed to keep the public and our employees safe," said Laird Pitz, CP's Senior Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer. "Rail safety requires 24 hr/d vigilance. We ask everyone to consider their own safety around railway property. The impact of an incident can have tragic consequences for all concerned, including family, friends and community."

Incidents involving people and trains continue to occur far too frequently and in most cases the results are tragic. According to Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) statistics, the number of trespasser incidents, those involving people and trains, climbed to 81 in 2017 from 69 in 2016, and that number does not include the many near misses that occur every day. In the US the number is even higher, with 1020 trespasser incidents reported by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in 2017.

Operation Lifesaver Canada (OL) and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), advocacy groups focused on rail safety, launched their new campaign #STOPTrackTragedies which highlights tragic stories of rail incidents turned fatal through a variety of short videos on social media.

"Our goal with #STOPTrackTragedies is to drive home the message that an unsafe decision made in a split second – whether it's to go around a lowered gate at a rail crossing, or to trespass on the tracks – can have devastating consequences for you, your loved ones and members of your community," said Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.

"The new #STOPTrackTragedies campaign is intended to underscore the importance of the Rail Safety Week message – raising awareness across North America of the need for rail safety education to empower people to keep themselves safe near highway-rail grade crossings and railway rights-of-way, and when using rail public transportation systems," said OLI Interim President Wende Corcoran. "We are proud to work with our rail safety partners at Operation Lifesaver Canada to save lives through this important initiative."

Through rail safety programmes such as CP RailSense, partnerships between CPPS and other policing agencies, and ongoing collaboration and communication with communities, schools and advocacy groups like Operation Lifesaver, the goal is to educate people of all ages of tragic lifelong consequences that can occur when behaving unsafely on or around rail property.

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