Thanks, Mike. I appreciate that.
Mike mentioned his 30-plus years with CP. I have to say that with 34 years with CN, I'm a career railroader as well, and I certainly share his passion for the industry.
Regarding environment and sustainability, from a modal perspective, the rail industry is well recognized as a leader in environmental responsibility. As Mike mentioned, steel wheels running on steel rails experience very low resistance. This, in combination with lower grades, enables railways to achieve outstanding fuel use. A locomotive can transport one tonne of freight 180 kilometres on one litre of fuel. In addition, 280 truckloads can fit on the average train, which reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and significantly reduces wear and tear on the nation's highways.
In spite of these already impressive numbers, railways continue to invest in research and technology to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. The rail industry recognizes its responsibility to the environment. In addition, we realize that a greener railway makes good business sense.
Fuel is a major expense for the rail industry, and we work very hard every day to reduce consumption and maximize the value we realize from every litre burned.
From this slide you see that we continue to invest in newer, more fuel-efficient locomotives, and that we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 31% since 1995.
I'll talk a little about sustainability. The railways are actively investigating alternative fuel sources, and to date we have done some preliminary testing with diesel biofuel alternatives. I believe some winter testing was done by CP between Calgary and Edmonton to validate the operability of this fuel in our harsh winter conditions.
In addition, we're also actively pursuing a test to validate the feasibility of using liquefied natural gas as an alternative to diesel fuel. This evaluation is in the early stages, but if the testing proves successful, it could be a major step forward for the rail industry. We anticipate that use of liquefied natural gas would enable an approximate 20% reduction in emissions, as well as a significant reduction in particulate matter, and all at lower cost to the railways.
In addition, by using a dedicated tender tank car, we would be able to operate trains from Toronto all the way to Vancouver without refuelling, thereby delivering significant operating benefits.
These are only two examples of some of the innovative work that's ongoing as part of our sustainability drive. We believe sustainability and efficiency are not exclusive, and in many cases the more sustainable solution can also generate operating cost efficiencies.
Sustainability requires that we review and in some cases realign our entire supply chain, as well as all the processes and procedures we use to service our customers. This is a significant commitment on the part of the rail industry, but we believe this is the right path for us, and the path that best ensures a viable and sustainable future.
In addition to the many other technologically related research items we've already talked about, I want to talk a little about the collaborative railway research initiative ongoing at this time. The recent Railway Safety Act review identified a number of recommendations directed at rail research and development activities in Canada. As a result of these recommendations, the Railway Research Advisory Board, which had been in place for a number of years, was reorganized to create a separate management and technical committee.
Mike Roney chairs the technical committee and I'm co-chair of the management committee. Both committees have representation from industry, government, suppliers, and academia. The technical committee's task is identifying and prioritizing research opportunities, while the management committee assumes responsibility for setting general research priorities and ensuring adequate resources are available from both industry and government to enable the required research to happen.
Since this reorganization, considerable progress has been made in developing streamlined research, evaluation, and prioritization processes. In addition, there has been an improvement in the coordination of research activities and consolidation of funding from industry and government.
I'd like to close with one quick comment on what I think is one of our major successes. Recently we've opened a new railway research centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. It is jointly funded by Transport Canada, CN, CP, and the AAR, and has recently been granted an NSERC industrial research chair in railway geomechanics.
We have a number of research programs ramping up at this new facility, and I believe this is a major step forward for rail research in Canada. It will also prove to be a key venue for educating and training the next generation of railway engineers and researchers.
With that, I'll turn it back to you, Mike.