May 24, 2022 | Circular No. 11438

Dear Member,

Transport Canada recently published proposed amendments to the Transportation Information Regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette, and is seeking stakeholder feedback over the coming weeks.  These regulations would replace the temporary requirements that were introduced in 2018 as part of the Transportation Modernization Act (TMA), under which class 1 rail carriers are required to report weekly service and performance data on their Canadian operations, based on eight specific metrics they already report to the US for their American operations. This information is then published by Statistics Canada at this LINK, with a view to providing stakeholders with greater visibility into the performance of Canada’s rail freight system overall.

The new regulations, which were developed after extensive consultation with shippers and other stakeholders, are designed to provide a more complete picture of rail performance than the transitional reporting requirements.  This is achieved by measuring activity from an end-to-end perspective and providing relevant geographic, commodity and car-type details. Overall, the proposed indicators would result in over 20 times more data points than the existing transitional provisions.

The proposed indicators are organized into four categories, and would require railways to provide the following specific information on a weekly basis:

First mile performance: Includes two indicators that provide information about the timely movement of loaded cars from the point of origin:

  • Daily average number of loaded cars not moving at origin;
  • Average time between when a shipper releases a loaded car to the rail carrier for pick-up and when the car is actually picked up.

En route performance: Includes five indicators that help identify whether loaded and empty railcars are moving en route to destination in a timely manner:

  • Daily average of loaded cars that have left the point of origin and are not moving anywhere on the network;
  • Daily average of empty cars that are on-line and are not moving anywhere on the network;
  • Average time a car is not moving within a terminal (reported separately for loaded, empty and total cars);
  • Average time it takes a car to move between two major terminals;
  • Daily average kilometers travelled for all cars on-line.

Last mile performance: Includes three indicators that provide information about the timely placement of loaded railcars at destination and help identify whether loaded traffic encounters delays in the very last stages of a movement:

  • Daily average number of loaded cars that have arrived at their final railway facility but have not yet been placed at the customer’s facility and are not moving;
  • Daily average number of loaded cars destined to a major destination area that are not moving;
  • Average elapsed time between a loaded car’s arrival at the final railway facility and its delivery to the destination.

Rail assets and utilization: Includes five indicators that provide information on rail assets and utilization, which would create a greater understanding of the fluidity and timeliness of service in the rail network:

  • Daily average number of loaded cars on-line;
  • Daily average number of empty cars on-line;
  • Daily average number of total cars on-line, both loaded and empty;
  • Number of locomotives on-line, in storage or not working due to a functional or mechanical issue;
  • Number of locomotive engineers and conductors available to move traffic.

The Federation is examining the proposed amendments in more detail, with a view to submitting comments to Transport Canada by the deadline of July 6, 2022.  Members who wish to provide input are most welcome to do so, particularly as relates to the scope and content of the proposed indicators, and their potential usefulness in providing better insight into the performance of the rail freight system from a user perspective.  We would also be interested in knowing whether members are aware of the transitional information that has been published on Statistics Canada’s website since 2018, whether this information is currently presented in an accessible format, and whether the availability of enhanced railway metrics (as per above) would make the StatsCan data more compelling.  Any other views or comments that members would like to share would also be appreciated.

Comments should be submitted to the undersigned by June 17 if possible.


Karen Kancens
Vice President