Rail Transportation Thought Leaders

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Rail Transportation Thought Leaders

Eight thought leaders specific to public rail transportation in Canada include the Railway Association of Canada, Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers, Malcolm Cairns, Tony Hatch, Louis Gravel, Michael Farkouh, Corrie Banks, and Dr. Kyle Mulligan. Details about these thought leaders have been provided below.

Railway Association of Canada

  • Established in 1917, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) is an organization that represents approximately 60 passenger and freight railway companies. The chair of the association is Fiona Murray.
  • The organization is the voice of the railway industry in Canada and advocates on its members’ behalf to make sure that the sector remains safe, sustainable, and globally competitive.
  • The RAC helps governments to develop new standards, rules, and regulations. In addition, the organization provides public education, research, and outreach to make sure that Canadians understand the role that rail plays in the economy and their lives.
  • The RAC releases between three and six publications each year. These publications focus on topics, such as fighting climate change, rail trends, innovation, supply chain collaboration, and customer service.

Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers

  • The Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers (CARS) was established in 1991 and represents more than 140 companies that sell services and products to railways and transits. The chairman of the board is Jason Fries.
  • CARS is a member-driven association that constitutes small, medium, and large businesses. It acts as an advocacy group that promotes a competitive framework for research and development.
  • One of CARS objectives is “to influence the decision makers in favour of growing a vibrant, competitive rail supply industry, and promote its importance to Canada.”
  • CARS shares news regarding the railway sector in Canada almost every day from different websites. The key topics include the future of railway in different regions, recent developments, and annual reports of industry leaders. In addition, the organization has a magazine that focuses on topics, such as new technologies, government relations, and events, which it publishes twice a year .

Malcolm Cairns

  • Malcolm Cairns has a PhD in mathematical statistics from the University of Toronto, which he got in 1975. He has worked for the federal government for over 20 years in departments, such as Statistics Canada, Transport Canada, Grain Transportation Agency, the Office of Privatization and Regulatory Affairs, and the Canadian Transport Commission.
  • Malcolm Cairns has previously been the president of the Ottawa Chapter of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation and CTRF.
  • Cairns became director of business research at the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1994. In addition, he was part of the team that reviewed the Canada Transportation Act and has played important roles in railway mergers. He also wrote a “Canadian review of rail freight services.”
  • Recently, Cairns published about how crude oil is transported by Canadian railways and also wrote a policy paper on behalf of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum (CTRF) on Rail Safety. Malcom Cairns publishes articles approximately once a year.

Tony Hatch

  • Tony Hatch is a senior transportation analyst and independent consultant. He has previously worked for Canadian National, the Canadian Transportation Agency, and the Railway Association of Canada, among other organizations.
  • Tony Hatch has been offering institutional transport research and has offered insights on new types of transport investment in areas such as rail construction and maintenance and rail cars.
  • He is the co-founder of Progressive Railroading and leads RailTrends, which is a conference that takes place every fall in New York City. Tony also published an article about RailTrends every year, which focuses on the trends in the railway sector in Canada and the United States. Given his qualifications, his works can be used as reliable sources of information.

Louis Gravel

  • Louis Gravel is the President of Genesee & Wyoming Canada, which operates nine railways in four Canadian provinces. He was appointed in 2014.
  • Between 2006 and 2014, Mr. Gravel worked for the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway as the Managing Director, Rail and Port Operations. Before becoming managing director, he held several positions such as Director of Engineering and Capital Projects, Signals and Communications, and Railway Engineer.
  • Louis Gravel is considered a thought leader and has been a speaker at several industry events. He covers topics such as the “impact of climate change on rail infrastructure,” which he spoke about at Rail-Government Interface 2019. Despite Gravel being considered a thought leader, his works are not publicly available.

Michael Farkouh

  • Michael Farkouh works for the Railroad and Network Technology Deployment in Montreal as Vice-President. He is plays a key role in the information and technology team and “is responsible for the deployment of next-generation scheduled railroading technology.”
  • His previous positions at the Canadian National Railway (CN) include regional mechanical officer, car fleet maintenance, general manager, and superintendent operations. He has worked in the transportation sector for 26 years.
  • It is noteworthy that Michael Farkouh has been a speaker at various events and has previously discussed about technology and innovation at CN at Rail-Government Interface 2019. Despite being a thought-leader, there are no published works to his name in the public domain.

Corrie Banks

  • Corrie Banks is the Director of Logistics at Cando Rail Services. She has worked as a logistics expert for 22 years and is internationally recognized as a thought leader in the logistics industry. She was listed among the “100 most influential women in the Canadian supply chain.”
  • Corrie Banks has previously worked for Triskele Logistics, Parmalat Canada, Pacific Logistics Solutions, and the Canadian Pacific Railway. She has managed warehousing and distribution, third-party logistics, rail and truck shipments, data metrics and analytics, and railcar and truck maintenance.
  • Corrie Banks has spoken at various logistics events in Canada such as Cargo Logistics Canada. However, there are no articles she has written, which are available in the public domain.

Dr. Kyle Mulligan

  • Dr. Kyle Mulligan has worked at Canadian Pacific as Chief Engineer. He has worked for the organization for four years where he held roles, such as Assistant Chief Mechanical Engineer, Senior Reliability Engineer, and Chief Mechanical Engineer.
  • Kyle Mulligan focuses on implementing predictive models that find component failures in freight cars, which enable proactive maintenance. In addition, the have introduced solutions where train dynamic modeling simulators are used to understand the causes of incidents. His works have won him several awards and recognition such as the “CEO Award for Excellence in 2017 for asset optimization.”
  • Kyle Mulligan has a research background in machine learning and artificial intelligence and is a qualified freight car mechanic and locomotive engineer. He is considered a thought leader and has spoken at several industry events. However, there is no information about his published works in the public domain.

Research Strategy

While we found thought leaders specific to public rail transportation in Canada, we only identified four whose works were publicly available. We could not find any publications for Kyle Mulligan, Corrie Banks, Michael Farkouh, and Louis Gravel. We attempted to look at their LinkedIn pages, industry sites, and the respective organizations that they work for but to no avail. In addition, we tried look at their social media pages such as Facebook to see if they had published links to their articles but we did not find any relevant information. Despite this, we established that they were speakers at multiple industry events and were considered thought leaders. For these reasons, we concluded that information about their published works is not available in the public domain.

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