Minister of Transport announces updated rules to strengthen rail safety and reduce the risk of uncontrolled movements

News release

May 17, 2022          Ottawa              Transport Canada

Transport Canada is continuously working with the railway industry to update rules, regulations and standards that improve the safety of Canada’s railway system and protect all Canadians who live and work along rail lines.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the approval of revisions to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules and the Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules to reduce the risk of uncontrolled movements of trains.

To help ensure that trains are properly secured, revisions to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules and the Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules will establish:

  • performance standards for locomotives equipped with rollaway protection, which is a feature designed to automatically apply brakes when there is an unintended movement of a train;
  • safety procedures and requirements that must be met before leaving a locomotive, such as confirming that brakes are effectively set and double-checking with another employee that safeguard measures have been implemented; and
  • testing procedures to ensure that the rollaway protection system is operating properly.

The new rules build on measures in place to secure trains and reduce the risk of uncontrolled movement, such as requiring handbrakes be applied in specific circumstances, and will further help keep communities and workers safe.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to keeping Canadians and workers safe. I am pleased to see these updates to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules and the Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules. These updates build on the significant work already being undertaken by the railway industry to implement measures to prevent the occurrence of uncontrolled movements. Every additional layer of protection to reduce the risk of the uncontrolled movement of railway equipment helps keep communities and Canadians who live and work along rail lines safer.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • Transport Canada issued two Ministerial Orders following the uncontrolled movement of the Goderich-Exeter Railway train:

    • the first Order required railway companies to propose amendments to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules to implement specific procedures that must be followed by their locomotive engineers to prevent the uncontrolled movement of railway equipment due to an unintended release of the train’s air brakes; and
    • the second Order required railway companies to propose amendments to the Railway Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules to improve performance standards for locomotives equipped with rollaway protection, which automatically applies the air brakes when movement is detected.
  • Under the Railway Safety Act, railway companies must comply with regulations, rules and any orders issued.

  • Transport Canada monitors railway companies for compliance with regulations, rules, and orders made under the Railway Safety Act through risk-based audits and safety inspections.

Associated links

Contacts

Laurel Lennox
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Laurel.Lennox@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

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