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Committed to Safety: An Open Letter to Communities

The following letter to communities was issued on August 7 by CP’s President and CEO, Keith Creel.

Safety is at the core of everything we do at Canadian Pacific (CP). There is nothing more important to us, as a company, and to me, personally, than the safety of our employees, customers, and the communities in which we operate. 

We recently observed the seventh anniversary of the Lac Mégantic rail disaster. July 6, 2013 will remain forever etched in our hearts, and will always serve as a reminder that the rail industry can never compromise on safety. 

CP is proud to be the safest freight railway in North America, as measured by train accident frequency. We have achieved this industry-leading position for 14 consecutive years. But we know that safety is a journey, not a single destination. 

CP recently acquired the Central Maine and Québec Railway (CMQ), which runs from Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu through many communities in Québec’s Eastern Townships, and then onward to Maine and Vermont. We assumed full ownership of the CMQ on June 4, 2020, just two months ago. 

As part of our commitment to safety, we are investing more than $90 million to upgrade the CMQ network. Much of this important work is underway. While it cannot be done overnight, we are working aggressively to complete the upgrades quickly and safely. 

Our upgrades to the CMQ are comprehensive. We are replacing thousands of rail ties and extensive sections of rail, eliminating rail joints, revitalizing culverts, enhancing switches, and improving grade crossings. Thanks to our significant investment, the CMQ infrastructure will meet CP’s industry-leading safety standards, and exceed many Transport Canada regulatory requirements. Going forward, it will benefit from the same diligent maintenance and oversight as the rest of our network. 

We will never stop looking for ways to strengthen railway safety. For example, CP is a leader in harnessing the power of data and predictive analytics. This cuttingedge innovative technology gathers insight on equipment performance and helps predict mechanical failures. 

CP’s railroaders are the best in the world, true experts in their field. We are excited to be growing our network in Québec, and proud to be part of your community. 

You have my commitment that we will dedicate ourselves to operating the safest railway in North America, day in and day out. We owe that to you, and we owe that to each other.


Keith Creel
President and Chief Executive Officer Canadian Pacific