International, including Railway Operations and Management

Our International group’s extensive capabilities encompass all the expertise and service offerings described herein. This enables CANAC to act as a single source multi-disciplinary rail solution provider worldwide.

By way of example, we:

  • Provide business/operation reviews and project feasibility proposals to identify the value added of specific improvement opportunities using specialized Business Development Teams (rail operations, rolling stock, infrastructure, materials management and financial expertise).

  • Provide railway restructuring and rail business planning.  CANAC has contributed to successful restructuring programs in countries such as Turkey, France (SNCF Fret), Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Russia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Argentina, Croatia and Indonesia.  CANAC has also worked with DB Cargo in Germany to assist with the design of new business processes and system interfaces related to the implementation of the “Service Reliability System” (SRS).

International Projects

These International Projects are among those that best represent CANAC's comprehensive offering. Click on the country for a project description:



Rio Tinto - Pilbara Rail Capacity Study

CANAC was requested by Rio Tinto to perform a high-level operational overview of the Pilbara rail operation which, in spite of several on-going operating improvement initiatives, including siding additions and operating plan enhancements, had a tonnage pace that remained at least 10% below the target.

Based on the study team’s on-site observations, information gathered from discussions with key management personnel, and background knowledge of pertinent industry benchmarks, CANAC identified potential operational bottlenecks and recommended conceptual solutions worthy of further detailed investigation in following study phases. Potential short term strategies towards achieving a sustainable 220 mmT tonnage delivery rate for the Pilbara rail system were identified. Comments were also provided for a current rail system capacity modeling tool and methodology utilized by the Rio Tinto Capacity Assurance group.



Transfer of Technology – Online Control Center Training

CANAC prepared and delivered training on “Online Control Center” to 10 employees of the Ministry of Railways (MOR). The CANAC Training Program was divided into 3 training modules as follows:

  • Organization of the Online Control Center
  • Operations of the Online Control Center
  • Data Center Operations for Supporting the Online Control Center

The Online Control Center (OCC) is responsible for a wide range of computer equipment, telecommunications and software systems.  In addition, the OCC is involved in implementing field reporting procedures, monitoring system performance and investigating application problems.  Staff at the OCC typically have expert knowledge of computer systems as well as railway operating procedures and methods.

Permanent Way Management Information System

CANAC provided technical guidance and railway expertise in all stages of the project undertaken by Tec Trend Engineering (China) to MOR, which included model validation and calibration to ensure that the Track Model Subsystem was implemented in the most effective manner.  More specifically, CANAC:

  • Assisted Sino Rail in developing the interface software to remaining systems of MOR.
  • Provided Reattach (subcontractor) with the necessary information for hardware and software platform requirements to develop the Track Model subsystem.
  • Provided MOR with the documentation of the Track Model subsystem, the mathematical models, and the output methods and results of the system.
  • Provided assistance in system integration including model calibration, model verification and establishment of thresholds / standards. 
  • Provided supervision and assistance in installation and acceptance, provided training on the effective use of the system, and provided assistance in “After-Sale” service hotline.

China Ministry of Railways (MOR) wanted to optimize their maintenance of way planning.  To meet this objective, MOR required a Permanent Way Management Information system which comprised the following: (a) a comprehensive track maintenance, condition and inspection database, (b) a Track Model Subsystem which included analytical forecasting models for the major track components such as rail, surfacing, ties and ballast, and, (c) a reporting facility for using the data developed with the analytical models.


Speed Differential and Technical Feasibility Study

CANAC conducted a feasibility study to evaluate the potential benefit of equalizing train speeds on the Bilaspur - Nagpur corridor by raising the speed of freight trains equal to that of the passenger trains and assessing the impact of increasing payload in railcars to further enhance the decongestion of the corridor.  A capacity analysis of this high-density corridor with up to 180 trains per day was performed using CANAC’s RAILS2000® traffic modeling program.


Review and Prioritization of the Performance Improvement and Investment Plan of the Indonesian State Railway

Funded by the World Bank, the study was aimed at formulating a medium to long-term investment program for Perumka, as well as to identify improvements in railway operations.  The CANAC study was conducted in parallel with studies examining institutional issues between Perumka and the Government of Indonesia, as well as a capacity study in the Bandung-Jakarta corridor.


Rail Operation Study

As follow-up to our 1996 Technical Advisory services related to the acquisition of KTMB by MU, CANAC provided an on-site team with a focus on implementing the required systems, methods and service package changes required in order to improve efficiency/productivity and increase revenues.

The CANAC team, on the basis of an initial technical review/audit of KTMB rail opportunities and the identification of new market opportunities, prioritized required changes and quantified these into an Operating/Business Plan.  This same Operating Plan was being implemented with CANAC’s continued involvement in the management of the rail operation.


Rail Operations Management

In order to reduce congestion at its port facilities and to improve service to shipping lines and export industry, International Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) had decided to build and operate an inland container terminal at Calamba, as well as to connect the IDC via dedicated rail service over a 56 km section of Philippine National Railroad (PNR) track. CANAC played an important role in the start-up of this service including Operations Management; Procurement services; Supply of a re-railer for derailment recovery operations. 

CANAC was also responsible for the establishment of procedures related to safe and efficient rail operations, including monitoring of performance.

Africa Sub Saharan


Chemin de Fer de Boké (CFB) Management of Operations

In 1973, Halco Mining of Pittsburgh, a consortium comprised of ALCOA and ALCAN, started operating a bauxite mine in Guinea, West Africa.  CANAC was hired as the rail operator for the project and was involved with the project for 25 years.


Technical Assistance to Magadi Soda Company

CANAC provided technical and railway management assistance for the establishment and operation of the 603 km Magadi Rail (MR), Kenya’s first privatized railway.  Throughout the process of successfully establishing reliable, cost-effective train operations, CANAC was responsible for achieving a successful knowledge and skills transfer to local management and staff.  This resulted in the successful transfer of full responsibility of all aspects of the privatized railway operations to local personnel.  Two subsequent audits by CANAC (at the request of the UK-owned soda ash company) confirmed that the private railway had continued to improve its operations effectively following the departure of the CANAC specialists.


Management and Supervisory Development

CANAC conducted an in-depth diagnostic review of National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) railway operations. Detailed work plans and performance benchmarks, with an emphasis on the implementation of pilot projects, were put in place in various areas of NRZ railway operations and business management. CANAC also assisted NRZ in the concept of corporate planning and the preparation of five-year business plans.

Northern Africa and the Middle East


Feasibility Study for the Implementation of a Rail-based Transportation System with the SNTF

CANAC conducted a viability study for the establishment of an efficient rail-based container transportation system for the Algerian State Railway Company « SNTF ».  The potential rail-based container system is envisaged to be operating under a Public-Private Partnership mechanism.

Technical Assistance / Control and Supervision of Construction of Track and Structure of the Railway Line Linking Ain M’Lila – Tebessa

CANAC is currently leading a consortium for the technical assistance to the Algerian State Railways (SNTF) for the construction of the 180 km of railway line AIN M’LILA-TEBESSA.  In this three year project CANAC is in charge of the review and approval of work studies, surveillance of track and building construction as well as cost and planning control. 


Railway Security System Study and Audit 

CANAC has performed a complete Safety Audit and related studies on the whole railway network of the Moroccan State Railway “ONCF”. 

The main components of the Safety Audit were: 1) Diagnosis of the current safety system; 2) Assessment of the safety system; 3) Revision and upgrading the safety regulation; 4) Program to increase and maintain human resources reliability; 5) Performance audit; 6) Investments; 7) Specific studies.


Feasibility Study for the Transportation of  Phosphogypsum

CANAC conducted a feasibility study for a chemical company for the establishment of a dedicated railway transportation system to move residuals from the chemical plant to a dumping site located some 30 km away.

Technical Assistance for the Implementation of a Phosphate Transport Business Unit (Phase I and II)

Phase 1: Study for the rationalisation and modernisation of railway transport of the phosphate industry. CANAC provided technical assistance to the National Railways of Tunisia (SNCFT) to establish short, medium, and long-term forecasts for the transport of phosphate.

Phase 2: CANAC provided technical assistance to SNCFT for the implementation of a “Business Unit” in charge of transporting phosphate.


Labour Restructuring Project for Turkish State Railways (TCDD)

CANAC assisted TCDD (Turkish State Railway) with consulting services for the design of TCDD employment restructuring.
As part of its mandate, CANAC was in charge of designing the TCDD employment restructuring, assessing the feasibility and determining the costs and benefits of labour force adjustments during the restructuring period of TCDD, including the preparation of a Social Plan to mitigate the social impact of the lay-off of staff to be made redundant within the proposed railway restructuring project, and developing an overall framework for the implementation of labour force restructuring.



Railway Business Planning

CANAC led a European Bank for a Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)-funded project aimed at assisting the 3 railways in Bosnia & Herzegovina (ZRS, ZBH and ZHB) in their business planning process and at improving their accounting procedures with the objective of achieving their productivity targets.


Railway Restructuring

The Croatian Government decided to initiate a process to redefine Croatian Railway’s (HZ) future role, objectives and priorities within a market driven economy.  The main objective of this restructuring study, funded by the World Bank, was the establishment of a railway that meets the country’s requirements, and which is economically and financially sustainable. The CANAC consultant team assisted the government and HZ to define viable options and the consequences of each of the options.


Transportation Management

DB Cargo had acquired the rights to use the “Service Reliability System” (SRS) to improve efficiency of its operation.  CANAC was selected to identify DB Cargo’s Business Processes to be supported by SRS; the world’s most advanced railway operating technology. CANAC also assisted with the following design activities:

  • Design new Business Processes for DB Cargo.
  • Using SRS as a guide, assist in the design of a system to support DB Cargo’s new Business Processes.
  • Assist in the design of interfaces between DB Cargo’s new system and their Legacy systems.

Other technical support services included the provision of Implementation Plans, Training, Table population support, etc.

About SRS: SRS is based on modern, easy to use technology.  SRS improves every aspect of service delivery, from defining commitments to customers, order taking and delivering service through to billing and collection.  Unlike most other systems, SRS is based on detailed trip plans for individual shipments.


Management and Leadership Training for Railway Managers

CANAC developed and delivered a Senior Level Training Program entitled “Leadership and Change Management to Railway Managers” to Managers of Romania’s Railway Companies (CFR); Railway infrastructure “CFR S.A.”, Freight “MARFA”, Passengers “Calatori”, and the Ministry of Transportation.

Rail Traffic Management System

CANAC led a viability study in cooperation with Romanian Railways (CFR) for implementing a modern state-of-the-art and proven Rail Traffic Control System (RTC) to increase productivity, efficiency and safety on CFR’s network.


Transportation Study

CANAC carried out a transportation study for a major producer of soda ash. This included a rail operations as well as an equipment analysis.

Latin and South America


Operations and Management Advisory Services to Roca Line Concession

This five-year contract involved the provision of CANAC expertise in Operations and Management, for the Loma Negra Consortium, of the Roca line concession.  CANAC undertook an in-depth diagnostic of operations on the Roca line.  A detailed action plan and investment program was identified, which defined the operating strategy and the required staffing levels. During this five-year period, CANAC also successfully transferred the rail operations expertise to the local management team.


Technical Assistance to Empresa Nacional de Ferrocarriles ENFE de Bolivia

 Funded by the World Bank, this project, for which CANAC was the lead consultant, saw a team of high caliber specialists in railroad operations, finance, marketing, and human resources assist the ENFE management in transforming the railway from one centered on operations to one that was market-oriented and commercially viable.


Pre-feasibility Study for Privatization of Heavy Haul Railroad

CANAC was retained by Mineraçoes Brasileiras Reunidas S.A. (MBR), a major Brazilian ore-mining firm and a principal user of the Brazilian Federal Railways SR-3 and SR-4 broad gauge lines, to investigate the economic and technical viability of these two lines.

The CANAC study investigated key operational, managerial and financial issues with the aim of formulating a bid for the privatization proposal for a consortium led by MBR.


Study for the Rehabilitation of the Nogales-El Tajo Branch Line

Design, build and operation of a 133-km double track electrified rail line estimated to move 50 Million passengers per year.

CANAC was responsible for technical assistance in the areas of Engineering, Systems integration, Training of local employees and Operation of the Rapid Rail Link over an 11-year period.  CANAC performed studies in relation with the mission and vision of the passenger service, the ridership, the pro-forma accounts, the operating plan, and the marketing strategy.

Technical Assistance for Rail/Port Concession

The State of Baja California engaged CANAC to provide technical assistance in looking for a concessionaire to build and operate a port and rail concession from the pacific coast inland to connect with the US rail network. 

Republic of Kazakhstan and Russia


Rail Transportation Study

CANAC was hired by Petrokazakhstan to determine the railway’s current costs of moving oil and oil products, including the quantification of operating and capital costs.

Petrokazakhstan is a significant private producer of crude oil and petroleum products in Kazakhstan.  All of this production is initially transported by a government-owned pipeline from the production fields in Kumkol to their refinery in Shymkent, a distance of 727 km.  At Skymkent, about half of the volume is processed at the company’s refinery and shipped in railway and shipper tanks on the government-owned Temir Zholy (TZ) railway to various stations in Kazakhstan.  The second half is loaded into rail tank cars and transported on TZ for export.  

Rail Tank Car Supply Study

CANAC was hired by PetroKazakhstan to determine the most cost-effective supply option to increase the fleet of PetroKazakhstan’s rail tank cars for the long-term rail transport of the company’s petroleum products.
See also TCO Sulfur Expansion Project and Feasibility Study of Passenger Service in Capacity Planning section.


Russian Railways Modernization Project

With the scope of this project, CANAC carried out the following studies:

Institutional and Management Restructuring, where the objective was to develop detailed policy and management options best positioning the Russian Railway industry to perform a role in the emerging market economy.

Management Training and Labour Redeployment, where the objectives were to: 1) develop training policies and programs to help prepare Russian Railways management to adapt to the emerging market economy; and 2) develop long term human resource policies to respond to the emerging market economy.

Within the scope of the Study, CANAC defined the objectives and roles of government and railways in a market economy; defined and distinguished the separate nature of various roles currently performed by government as owner, operator, financier regulator and major customer; identified institutional options to the railway management for achieving a commercially viable relationship between government and railways; identified key financial policies for the railway sector; reviewed existing general management structure and recommended alternative structures providing greater market orientation.

Transrail Project


From October 2003 until April 2007, CANAC assumed responsibility for the general management of the railway Transrail SA, including responsibility for hiring and training the necessary local personnel required to run the railways efficiently that was estimated at 1,526 employees. CANAC was responsible for all aspects of the railway, including:

• General Management and Administration
• Organization and Business Planning
• Marketing & Finance
• Operations & Maintenance of the track
• Operations & Maintenance of rolling stock (25 locomotives, 700 wagons and passenger cars)
• Employment & Training

It was CANAC's responsibility to establish this new concession, negotiate agreements, select and train staff, rehabilitate and source rolling stock, manage operations and maintenance activities, select a local management team and enable knowledge/skills transfer.

CANAC provided extensive training, especially in the management and technical fields. New technology such as CANAC's Wagon Fleet Management System (TRACman) was introduced to support the new structure.

For this concession project, CANAC employed a team of high caliber specialists in railroad operations, management, human resources, finance and marketing to make this railway commercially viable and market oriented.

For more information on our products and services, contact us by phone at 1-800-588-4387 or by email: [email protected].

CANAC Railway Services Inc. is a Corporation that is part of the Savage Group of Companies.

Legal Notice
© 2009 - All rights reserved - CANAC INC.