New measures enhance rail safety

by Canadian Shipper

Measures are now in place to enhance the safety of federally regulated rail operations in non-signalled territory- areas that do not use signals or electronic switches.

“These measures will ensure that permanent systems are in place to enhance rail safety. This is just one of many ways that Transport Canada is working to ensure that Canada’s rail system continues to be one of the safest in the world,” said Federal Transport Minister David Collenette.

The first measure requires that all federally regulated railway companies revise Rule 104 of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR), which deals with practices and protocols related to the use of switches in non-signaled territory. This measure, issued as an order under Section 19 of the Railway Safety Act, requires speed reductions for trains approaching certain switches in non-signaled territory where there is no advance physical indication of the switch position; clear and distinct procedures for all operating practices related to the handling of main track switches; and enhanced communication protocols for employees when a switch is restored to a main track. Switching must be confirmed by personal contact, such as radio, to another qualified railway employee from the location of the switch.

Railways will have 150 days from the date of the order to submit a revised rule. This will provide operators with sufficient time to advise and consult with their relevant associations and organizations prior to submission.

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