Railways 101

Associate Member Profile | T-Rail Products Inc.

This month, we sat with associate member T-Rail Products Inc’s very own founder and CEO, Lisa Tuningley, to discuss upcoming growth and innovation for the company.

How is T-Rail contributing to economic growth in the markets it serves (Canada and beyond)?

T-RAIL is motivated and driven to support our rail clients through these challenging times by delivering to them the products they want when they need it by working with our suppliers, understanding our customers product needs and optimizing transportation. “The Correct Products On Time”.

Does this sound like a marketing pitch? Yes it is. Rail Connects Us. We are proud to be a part of the industry that hauls 70% of ground surface transportation while emitting only 3.48% of the green-house gas emissions or that 1 job in rail supports 8 jobs in the economy.

We have all experienced lately, the supply chain challenges the world is facing from raw material pricing and availability, limited factory outputs constraints to attracting and maintaining talent, and Covid measures that are beyond anything we have ever imagined.

Now is the time for entrepreneurial business to exercise its flexibility in collaborating, innovating and decision making to quickly adapt and put into place unique and necessary improvements to support the economic growth of Canada.

What opportunities are you eyeing most closely as we see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel grow larger?

The biggest opportunity for our transportation industry is to realize and create the perception that rail is the simplest, most efficient, reliable, dependable and customer-centric mode of transportation supporting and driving our nations economy.

We have yet need more talent and innovations to support the market growth available to clients who have a choice to ship either rail or truck.

The rail industry is challenging and busy with day-to-day issues moving trains from point-to-point. The time is now to broaden our view to realize todays’ world markets demand service, instant rates, ease of transactions, transparency, consistency, reliability, equipment availability, instant service, traceability … how will rail deliver and compete to obtain the market share growth against trucking?

At T-RAIL we are focused on optimizing our customers performance.


What emphasis does T-RAIL put on product innovation as a driver of growth?

Continuous improvement is part of our life force and nature as humans. This too is the nature of our business. Innovation requires an open mind to change, which an entrepreneurial business such as T-RAIL has the ability to flex. There is a solution to every problem. Both product and process innovations are needed today.

Often, we are asked what the “T” in “T-RAIL” is for, it simply is for TRY.  TRY your best, TRY to find new ways, TRY alternatives, TRY to collaborate to find the necessary solutions to take the rail industry mainstream and support our economic growth as a nation.

TRY innovations which look at life-cycle cost of the products offered and the benefits to the end users, to sustainable solutions that support positive long term environmental impacts of materials.

Post covid opportunities; rethinking necessary travel and cost savings, manufacturing locally to support local business and reconnecting with peers.

Where do you see North American rail companies’ exports trending in the coming years?

The track materials export business from North America is rather limited for 2 major reasons. First much of the world does not use AREMA standards, preferring UIC or other standards; and secondly North American manufacturers of exportable products such as rail and track materials are well loaded with domestic demands. Track materials are much more an import opportunity than an export business in North America.

This creates the potential of imports that are not what we want in North America as foreign suppliers frequently do not understand North America’s special needs and applications.  This is where T-RAIL shines in making sure our customers get the products they need and not just what they are offered.

The hope is to see the trend to bring home manufacturing to North America gets real traction, especially in track materials and especially in Canada where there is almost no manufacturing and look forward to the potential of that opportunity.


How bullish is T-RAIL about a global economic ‘recovery by rail’ – and what will be the keys to making the most of current growth prospects?

Rail traffic data reports show double digit growth against all carload commodity groups. At T-RAIL working on the front line delivering to the customers of the Class I’s, we feel and see this on a daily basis. The key to making the most of current growth prospects is recognizing it isn’t about the steel, it’s about the RAIL Hero’s … the people, like you, who do the day-to-day work, who TRY, who find solutions and invite more like-minded people to make a difference to transportation by rail.