What is the CTRF?

The Canadian Transportation Research Forum has been operating since 1965. 
It is a non-profit association of transportation professionals who work for:

  • Railways, trucking companies, airlines, port and airport authorities, shipping lines, terminal operators, transit operators, and pipeline companies

  • Transportation departments and other agencies in the provinces and territories

  • Consultants

  • Universities and colleges

 Mission and Objectives

To promote the development of research in transportation and related fields and provide a forum for networking and discussion by:

  • Publishing research papers, through the media of national and regional meetings and other methods determined by the Board of Directors

  • Providing opportunities to discuss transportation issues

  • Providing opportunities for keeping informed on transportation research development and opportunities

  • Providing an environment for professional networking and encouraging student interest in transportation research

The History of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum

The CTRF was created in 1965 by Canadian transportation professionals who felt there was sufficient interest to break away from the American Transportation Research Forum (TRF). With the financial assistance of the Department of Transport and an enthusiastic planning committee, the CTRF began to take shape. The planning committee consisted of:

Ray Cope – Department of Transport

Bill Hughes – University of British Columbia

Harvey Romoff – Canadian Pacific Railway

Eric Gracey – Canadian Industrial Traffic League

Peter Williams – National Harbours Board

Claude Taylor – Air Canada

Fred Woodward – Air Transport Board

Benoit Savard – Canadian Trucking Association

Don MacKinnon – Canadian National Railways

Ron Wilson – Hawker Siddeley

Peter Sandiford – McGill University

Bob Bandeen, who was involved in the early development of the TRF and, at one time its President, provided experience, enthusiasm and direction.

The first meeting of the CTRF was held at Manoir St. Castain in Lac Beauport, Quebec on September 9, 1965. The original conference format developed by the Planning Committee proved so successful that its basic format continues to the present. It provides the opportunity for persons involved with Canada's transportation systems to exchange ideas, research results, and to discuss transportation issues.

The papers presented each year at the Annual Conference are of high quality and represent research and experience from a wide range of industry, government and academic perspectives. A typical Annual Conference includes sessions on: airline regulation; national railway policy; logistics; motor carrier issues; new directions in transportation policy; marine transportation issues; ports policy; financing strategies; transportation and regional economies; education; grain transportation; safety and operations; cost recovery; modeling; system management; and trade and transportation. CTRF publishes these papers in a Proceedings book for its members and other interested parties.

Membership in CTRF is based on the calendar year, and is individual rather than corporate. Membership is open to anyone interested in any aspect of transportation. Interest is not confined to Canada. Over the last few years, papers have been presented by transportation professionals from the U.S., Mexico, China, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K.

In 1974, the Annual Paper Competition was initiated for students attending Canadian universities. The competition is structured to award a prize annually for transportation related topics in three categories: best Undergraduate paper, best paper at the Master's level and best paper at the Doctoral level. In 1976, CTRF accepted the responsibility of awarding the Jim Davey Memorial Trust Award for the best Doctoral paper. The fund was established by friends and colleagues of the late Jim Davey, an Assistant Deputy Minister of Transport Canada, who made notable contributions to the development of transportation policy and law in Canada.

In 1988, CTRF established a Scholarship Fund to encourage university students to pursue studies leading to careers in transportation. The fund is supported by outside donations and available CTRF earnings.

Throughout its history, CTRF has published a newsletter called FORUMation issued three times through the year. FORUMation regularly features the President's message, members' news, recent and upcoming events, and selected pieces on transportation issues. If you wish to contribute to the newsletter, please contact the CTRF office at info@ctrf.ca.