The creation of the Railway Ground Hazard Research Program (RGHRP) followed from a workshop on ground hazards, organized by Transport Canada, Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railways, held in Kananaskis, Alberta, May 1-3, 2002. The workshop, attended by front line operators, regulators, consultants and researchers, highlighted the need for a focused effort that addresses the railways' needs.

Established in 2003, the RGHRP draws upon the resources of CN, CP, the University of Alberta, Queen's University and Transport Canada, with the objective of developing and assessing solutions to manage ground hazard risks in the Canadian railway industry. The network of researchers soon grew to include Natural Resources Canada via the Geological Survey of Canada.

The collaborative nature of the RGHRP partner organizations is truly distinctive, particularly given the competitive relationship between the industry partners, CN and CP. It speaks to the shared values and interests of the railway industry, academia and government, to garner resources to develop and evaluate scientific, technical and methodological solutions to support and enhance the Canadian railway industry's ability to manage the risk associated with ground hazards.