Canadian Consulting Engineer

Moving Along

May 1, 2006
By Sergeant Bill Law CPR Police Service

''No job on our railway will ever be so important that we can't take the time to do it safely." This is a company commitment at Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)....

”No job on our railway will ever be so important that we can’t take the time to do it safely.” This is a company commitment at Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).

For 125 years CPR has been part of the Canadian landscape. Based in Calgary, Alberta, CPR today is a Class 1 North American railway that provides freight transportation services over a 22,000-kilometre network, from Vancouver to Montreal in Canada and down to several major cities in the U.S. The network reaches about 900 communities every day and has approximately 16,000 employees. It serves virtually every major sector, shipping commodities as diverse as grain and automobiles. In addition, CPR’s system involves passenger and commuter rail operators that move thousands of people each day.

CPR is recognized as one of the safest railways in North America. In six of the past seven years, CPR achieved the lowest overall reportable accident rate according to the rules of the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration.

The Canadian Pacific Railway Police Service protects all aspects of the company’s operations. The police staff patrol rail lines and yards, conduct surveillance, investigate incidents, co-ordinate crime-prevention programs and promote community education.


Post 9/11

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the U.S., CPR in partnership with the Association of American Railroads and other Class 1 railroads developed an industry-wide security plan template. From this, CPR developed its company-wide security plan. The plan contains an escalating scale of four threat levels and details security measures to be implemented at each level. These may include increased patrols and inspections of critical facilities or infrastructure, or modifying operations to reduce risk of attack. The security plan continues to evolve.

CPR is a certified partner in the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). This is a program to build relationships between business and government to strengthen the overall supply chain and border security. CPR has, for example, created a high-security corridor through Windsor on the approach to the international railway tunnel. The corridor includes the installation of a Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS) owned and operated by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. VACIS uses a low-level gamma ray radiation source to penetrate railway cars to assist with validating manifests, searching for contraband and verifying that cars billed as empties are in fact empty.

The police service conducts security assessments and works with various CPR departments, including engineering, to prevent trespassing onto railway property and sabotage. Often improvements involve installing physical security measures such as better gates, fencing, signs and installation of closed circuit video or by implementing better procedures. We also try to build CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) into the design of our facilities.

In addition to complying with all rules and regulations in the U.S, CPR is federally regulated in Canada by Transport Canada. In co-operation with the Railway Association of Canada, CPR has signed a memorandum of understanding on railway security with Transport Canada to ensure that railway operations under federal jurisdiction are prepared for all foreseeable security concerns.


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