Feds announce $100m rail safety funding

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

The federal government announced it plans spend more than $100 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, on Transport Canada initiatives to advance rail safety.

With 41,711 kilometres of track, Canada has the third largest railway system in the world. Transport Canada monitors railway companies for compliance with rules, regulations, and standards made under the Railway Safety Act through risk-based audits and more than 35,000 safety inspections every year.

The money is expected to be spent on oversight to address new and evolving risks to the safety and security of railway operations. This includes updating legislation, developing new approaches to improve railway safety data collection and analysis, evaluating new technologies for rail inspection and safety oversight, and supporting the safer transportation of dangerous goods.

It will also be used to undertake research and analysis to better identify risks and strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change and severe weather on the integrity and safety of critical railway infrastructure.

Additional funding will also be made available to continue Rail Safety Improvement Program. More than $21 million will fund 135 projects in 2021 and 2022. The program provides federal funding in the form of grants or contributions to provinces, territories, municipalities, and local governments, road and transit authorities, crown corporations, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations (including academia), Indigenous groups, communities and organizations and individuals to help improve rail safety and reduce injuries and fatalities related to rail transportation.