"This innovative facility at the University of Alberta will conduct specialised research and educate qualified engineers to meet the future needs of the Canadian rail sector,” said government minister Rona Ambrose. "Our strategic investment will support new job opportunities and make it easier for researchers, industry and governments to work together to improve rail safety and efficiency. By developing technology and training the next generation of students for careers in rail, this partnership will help the Canadian rail sector remain well-equipped and competitive."
The new partnership, the Canadian Rail Research Laboratory, will conduct research specifically related to ground hazards and winter service reliability. It is a joint initiative between the Government of Canada, Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures (AITF), the Association of American Railroads (AAR), Canadian Pacific (CP), CN and the University of Alberta.
Research on ground hazards will examine landslides, rock falls, land subsidence, erosion, as well as snow and ice conditions.
Research related to winter service reliability will include studies of optimal materials, fuels and cold weather engineering, avalanche monitoring and control, response to service disruptions, and weather monitoring and predictions.
The Canadian Rail Research Laboratory will receive a total of more than CA$5m (£3.2m) million over the next five years.