Rail Safety Improvement Program

We are accepting applications for infrastructure, technology and research (ITR) projects for 2023-2024 funding. The deadline for applications is August 1, 2022 at 11:59pm (PDT).

Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement 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. This year, the department is announcing more than $21 million to fund 135 projects in 2021-2022. 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 – the Grade Crossing Improvement Program; the Grade Crossing Closure Program; and Operation Lifesaver – 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 a comprehensive approach to improving the safety of rail transportation across Canada, through two key components: 1) Public Education and Awareness; and 2) Infrastructure, Technology and Research.

1. Public Education and Awareness

Transport Canada believes that more can be done to improve rail safety through outreach, education and awareness. Building on the positive 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 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 collision 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.

In 2020, Transport Canada announced funding for the four following projects:

One is providing almost $2 million in funding to the Operation Lifesaver over three years to expand the reach of Canada’s National Rail Safety Education and Awareness Program. The project incorporates a number of activities such as developing new virtual reality videos, new rail safety materials for kids, launching a national suicide prevention campaign, and engaging Indigenous communities.

The second project is providing more than $1 million in funding to Canadian Safety Train Express Inc. over three years to support the Railway Safety Learning Centre. The Centre is using the latest technology to engage the public into learning about railway safety especially in Western Canada, including Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

The third project will provide more than $100,000 in funding to Metrolinx over three years to evaluate effectiveness of Anti-Trespassing panels, and provide recommendations and guidelines for future installations.

The fourth project is provide almost $25,000 to Northumberland County over two years to raise safety awareness at the Northumberland grade crossing. The aim is to educate the public, professional drivers (bus and trucking), and youth about new safety installments and dangers associated with trespassing on railway property.

2. Infrastructure, Technology and Research

The Infrastructure, Technology and Research component has an enhanced focus on addressing the needs of communities by making more safety improvements eligible and increasing federal investment. This component focuses on supporting a wide range of eligible safety improvements, including improved lighting, upgraded rail crossing signals, pedestrian overpasses, and research into new safety technologies. 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 135 projects across Canada under the Infrastructure, Technology and Research component for a total of more than $21 million:

Province Number of Approved Projects
Alberta 5
British Columbia 26
Manitoba 3
New Brunswick 2
Nova Scotia 1
Ontario 36
Quebec 56
Saskatchewan 3
Total 135

If you have any questions about this program, contact us by email.

Contact us

Email: Infrastructure, technology and research (ITR): tc.rsipitr-pasfitr.tc@tc.gc.ca

Email: Public education and awareness (E&A): tc.rsipea-pasfes.tc@tc.gc.ca

ATTN: Director, Transportation Infrastructure Programs (AHSE)
Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C, 19th Floor
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5

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