Rail Safety Improvement Program 2019-2020

Backgrounder

Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program provides federal funding in the form of grants and contributions. The program’s objectives are to improve rail safety, contribute to increasing safety at grade crossings and along rail lines, and increase public confidence in Canada’s rail transportation system.

The Rail Safety Improvement Program builds on three previous rail safety programs with an increased overall funding level, an expanded list of eligible recipients and a broadened scope of projects that can be funded to enhance rail safety.

The program provides funding to support local investments in safer railways through two key components:

1) Infrastructure, Technology and Research component, and

2) Public Education and Awareness component.

  1. Infrastructure, Technology and Research

    The Infrastructure, Technology and Research component has an enhanced focus on addressing the needs of communities supporting a wide range of eligible safety improvements, including improved lighting, upgraded rail crossing signals, and pedestrian overpasses. Under the program, grant funding continues to be available to encourage the closure of high-risk crossings in addition to funding small-scale improvements.

    This year, Transport Canada is funding 136 projects across Canada under the Infrastructure, Technology and Research component for a total of $16.5 million:

    Province Number of Approved Projects
    Alberta 33
    British Columbia 6
    Manitoba 14
    New Brunswick 20
    Nova Scotia 11
    Ontario 21
    Quebec 11
    Saskatchewan 20
    Total 136
  2. Public Education and Awareness

    Transport Canada believes that more can be done to improve rail safety through outreach, education and awareness. Building on the successful results and lessons learned from existing programs such as Operation Lifesaver, Transport Canada is making funding available to eligible recipients through a ‘two-stream’ approach, including:

    • a national public information and education campaign dedicated to contributing to the reduction of railway grade crossing collisions and trespassing incidents on railway property; and
    • targeted regional or municipal education and awareness initiatives to address high-risk areas. This component is also used to support research, studies and analyses that contribute to a better understanding of behaviour, attitudes and impact of rail safety issues including post-accident community trauma assessment.

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