Rail and Surface initiatives planned for April 2023 – April 2025

You can use this page to find information on planned regulatory initiatives that Transport Canada expects to bring forward over the next two years.

On this page

Initiative(s) planned for Canada Gazette, Part I

Railway Safety Training and Qualifications Regulations

Enabling act

Railway Safety Act (1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))

Description

The proposed Regulations would provide a more comprehensive and robust training and qualification regime by replacing the existing Railway Employee Qualification Standards Regulations which have not been updated since 1987.

The proposed Regulations would be performance-based. Railway companies would have the flexibility to determine how the training and qualifications should be conducted. It will have minimum requirements to account for technological changes and changes in duties. The requirements will be for areas including:

  • Initial training;
  • Refresher training; and
  • Additional training.

This approach would:

  • Fill gaps and address identified issues to bring the Regulation up to date to account for new technologies;
  • Harmonize a portion of the Regulation with requirements in the United States; and
  • Set out minimum standards to complement management-based requirements in the Railway Safety Management System Regulations 2015.

Impacts on Canadians, including businesses

There may be business impacts. The "one-for-one" or the small business lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts

Some of the proposed policy elements harmonize with the Federal Railroad Administration's training and qualification regime in the United States.

Consultations

The proposed Regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in mid-2024 with a 60-day comment period.

Contact information

Stéphanie Plouffe
Director
Regulatory Affairs, Rail Safety
Transport Canada
Email: stephanie.plouffe@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: April 2018

Enhanced Train Control Regulations New!

Enabling act

Railway Safety Act (1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))

Description

Enhanced Train Control (ETC) technologies in Canada will provide an additional layer of safety in transporting people and goods across the country's vast railway network. At their most advanced level of functionality, Enhanced Train Control technologies can detect a safety threat and stop a train's movement to prevent a collision or derailment. It would also, at a basic level, be able to alert train crews to potential danger (such as exceeding speed restrictions or upcoming stop signal indications).

The proposed regulations would help mitigate rule violations caused by human errors such as locomotive operation above the permitted speed or failure to comply with a wayside signal indication. While the department is in the early stages of developing the ETC requirements, the objective of the Regulations would be to:

  • Detail minimum functionalities for ETC systems, including interoperability specifications; and
  • Establish criteria to determine the level of ETC technologies required based on the risk evaluation of the corridor.

Impacts on Canadians, including businesses

ETC technologies will increase the level of safety on Canada's rail network by preventing collisions and derailments caused by human error. There will be financial impacts on businesses. The "one-for-one" or the small business lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts

No impact is expected.

Consultations

Transport Canada is consulting with the rail industry, as well as other jurisdictions and departments, in order to assess cumulative impacts of these requirements on regulated parties.

The proposed Regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in late 2024 with a 60-day comment period.

Contact information

Stéphanie Plouffe
Director
Regulatory Affairs, Rail Safety
Transport Canada
Email: stephanie.plouffe@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: April 2023

Regulations Amending the Railway Safety Management System Regulations, 2015 New!

Enabling act

Railway Safety Act (1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))

Description

Stakeholders recognize that safety management systems are vital for a company to maintain a high level of safety and to constantly improve upon it. The proposed regulatory changes would enhance the Railway Safety Management System Regulations, 2015 by introducing provisions that are expected to lead to improved safety outcomes. The objectives of the proposed amendments would be to:

  • Implement outcome-based provisions to improve effectiveness;
  • Promote an improved safety culture;
  • Clarify key terminology; and
  • Address fatigue-related risks.

Impacts on Canadians, including businesses

There may be business impacts. The "one-for-one" or the small business lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts

Transport Canada will consult the United States (U.S.) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and railway companies regarding the impacts of the proposed amended Regulations on railway companies that operate in both countries.

Consultations

The proposed Regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in late 2025 with a 60-day comment period.

Contact information

Stéphanie Plouffe
Director
Regulatory Affairs, Rail Safety
Transport Canada
Email: stephanie.plouffe@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: November 2023

Initiative(s) planned for Canada Gazette, Part II

Regulations Amending the Railway Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (For security)

Enabling act

Railway Safety Act (1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))

Description

The proposed regulatory changes would modify Schedule 1 of the Railway Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations by designating additional provisions of the Railway Safety Act under Part 1, and adding a new Part to designate provisions of the Passenger Rail Transportation Security Regulations. It will provide the Minister with an additional tool to effectively enforce these Act provisions and the Regulations, which are a key part of Government of Canada's rail security regime.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

The proposed changes would enhance the railway system in Canada, which would benefit Canadians and businesses.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

No impact is expected.

Consultations

Transport Canada pre-published the proposed changes in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on July 2, 2022 with a 30-day public comment period.

Transport Canada plans to publish the changes in the Canada Gazette, Part II, in early 2024.

Departmental contact information

Stephen Larkin
Director
Program Operations
Transport Canada
Email: Stephen.larkin@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: April 2021