TORONTO May 1 Canadian Pacific Railway
said on Wednesday the recent derailments of trains carrying
crude and potash were caused by broken wheels and a broken rail,
and the company was investing in technology to prevent such
problems in the future.
Speaking at the company's annual general meeting in Toronto,
Ontario Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison said the recent
accidents were the result of "internal flaws" and were
"You can always prevent them, but they were internal flaws
in both the rail and the wheel," Harrison told reporters after
Repeating comments made when CP reported its quarterly
results last week, Harrison said CP's safety record has improved
in terms of the severity of accidents - the railroad defines a
severe accident as a derailment on its main track network
involving three or more cars.
Harrison took over last year after a bitter proxy battle
between CP and New York activist shareholder William Ackman
resulted in both CEO Fred Green and Chairman John Cleghorn
"What a difference a year makes," Harrison, an industry
veteran with a history of turning around struggling companies,
told shareholders. "We're on the way to becoming again the best
railroad in North America."
Last week, CP reported its best first-quarter result in its
132 year history. Shares, which were down 1.9 percent on
Wednesday, have climbed some 70 percent since Harrison took
charge last June.
Harrison said he expected to stay at the helm for another 2
1/2 to 3 1/2 years before handing the reins to chief operating
officer, Keith Creel, a decades-long protégé of Harrison's.