Rail Security Reporting under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods by Rail Security Regulations

A railway carrier must immediately report any potential threat or other security concern by telephone to Transport Canada's Situation Centre.

Telephone: 613-995-9737
Toll-Free: 1-888-857-4003
TTY: 1-888-675-6863

Contents of the Report

When a railway carrier contacts Transport Canada's Situation Centre, the following information must be included in the report, if applicable, and to the extent known:

  • Name of railway carrier and contact information, including telephone number and email address;
  • Name of the individual reporting the security concern, their position title and contact information, including their phone number and e-mail address where they may be reached for follow-up questions concerning the incident;
  • Any information that identifies the train, including the train number and its itinerary and line or route position;
  • Location of the incident such as the subdivision, and mile marker including town/city or address of the facility;
  • Classification and quantity of dangerous goods (It is recommended that the UN number be included); and
  • A description of the potential threat or security concern, including:
    • the date and time that the railway carrier became aware of it and any incident linked to it;
    • whether there were any deaths or injuries, property or environmental damage, or any train delays as a result of the incident (It is recommended that you include as much information as possible on the incident).

A reporting template has been developed to assist railway carriers in recording information about a potential threat or other security concern.

Potential Threats and Other Security Concerns

The following chart outlines a list of key potential threats and security concerns; this list is not meant to be exhaustive.

Report potential threats and other security concerns, including:


(a) Any interference with a train crew.

  • Hijacking of a train/hostage of train crew.
  • Laser pointer directed at the engineer/conductor of the locomotive.
  • Gun shots or other projectile towards the train or locomotive.
  • Potential blockade on railway tracks to interfere with railway operations.
  • Objects thrown at the locomotive or train.

(b) Any bomb threats, either specific or non-specific.

Any bomb threats received through any means/medium.

Specific: Detailed knowledge of device and location; specified date, time, exact location or route or train identification, named rail company.

Non-specific: Unspecified location and/or date and time. No identifying information of route, train or rail company.

(c) Any reports or discoveries of suspicious items that result in a disruption of railway operations.

Suspicious packages or items unattended/hidden or not typical to the environment and/or seem out of place may include but are not limited to:

  • Bags, backpacks, suitcases;
  • Boxes, packages or parcels;
  • Items with protruding wires, timing device, bottles;
  • Items emitting an odor, oil and/or powder;
  • Items that are unusually damp/wet or leaking; and
  • Foreign items found attached to a railway vehicle.

Items placed purposefully obstructing railway track or affecting railway operations such as:

  • Derailer;
  • Large boulders, larger items filled with cement or cement poured into rail infrastructure and defunct vehicles; and
  • Metal bars or wires laid across tracks.

(d) Any suspicious activities observed on or near a railway vehicle, at or near infrastructure used in railway operations or at or near a facility or location used in railway operations.

  • Persons attempting to climb, riding on the outside of a railcar, or found outside or inside the locomotive measuring or appearing to be tampering with equipment components or other such suspicious activities.
  • The apprehension of person(s), or evidence of unauthorized access by person(s), to a restricted area within a railway vehicle or facility containing security specific items such as keys, locks, monitoring or camera equipment, and security sensitive documentation.
  • Photography, videography of physical security elements of railway vehicles, infrastructure or facilities, staff or guards, measuring, loitering and other acts uncharacteristic of train enthusiasts.
  • Apprehension of an individual(s) responsible for applying graffiti, or discovery of freshly applied graffiti, onto a railway vehicle or property that depicts specific protest action against the rail industry.
  • Tampering with rails, fasteners, railroad ties, switches, signals or any part of the track with the intent and possibility of causing significant damage or derailment.
  • Arson on railway property including a railway vehicle, railway track, or facility.
  • Unauthorized electronic monitoring device adhered or attached to rail equipment.

(e) The discovery, seizure or discharge of a firearm or other weapon on or near a railway vehicle, at or near infrastructure used in railway operations or at or near a facility or location used in railway operations.

Other weapons may include:

  • Incendiary devices;
  • Improvised Explosive Device (IED);
  • Guns/ammunition;
  • Knives; or
  • Other devices that could be used as a weapon.

(f) Any signs of tampering with a railway vehicle if the railway carrier determines that security has been compromised.

  • Broken window or door on the locomotive.
  • Broken or intentionally disturbed locks or seals on railway equipment, locomotive or railway vehicle.
  • Intentionally compromised valves, seals or any parts of a locomotive or railway vehicle.
  • Suspected theft of dangerous goods or other railway equipment.

(g) Any information relating to the possible surveillance of a railway vehicle, of infrastructure used in railway operations or of a facility or location used in railway operations.

  • The use of photography, videography, binoculars to observe physical security elements, procedures, timing, employees' actions/attire.
  • Measuring of railway track or other areas, posing unusual or specific questions, loitering around railway tracks or facilities.
  • Reoccurring individuals observing train activity or operations at unusual times of the day or at the same area.
  • The use of drones on or near railway property.
  • Attempted or actual cyber incidents.
  • Other acts uncharacteristic of train enthusiasts.
  • Unauthorized electronic monitoring device adhered or attached to rail equipment.

Please note that these examples were developed for guidance purposes. The regulatory requirements for rail security reporting are not limited to these examples.

As more information on the incident becomes available, the railway carrier is encouraged to report any subsequent updates to Transport Canada's Situation Centre.

There are also reporting requirements under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations that may apply to railway carriers. For more information, please visit: https://tc.canada.ca/en/dangerous-goods/part-8