Paragraph 19(1)(a) of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) gives the Minister of Transport the authority to order a railway company to formulate rules respecting any matter referred to in subsection 18(1) or (2.1) or to revise its rules respecting that matter.
Pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 19(1)(a) of the RSA, the railway companies listed in Appendix A are hereby ordered to revise the Rules Respecting Track Safety (TSR).
The revised rules should be based on an assessment safety risks, track-related derailment causes, evolving technology, current railway internal standards, and industry best practices and shall, at a minimum, address the following elements.
Training, Qualification and Quality Assurance
- Strengthen and standardize track inspector and track supervisor training and designation requirements.
- Strengthen approval of track maintenance and repair work in order for the work to be approved by competent staff (e.g., professional engineer) capable of verifying that the work was done according to company standards and procedures.
- Establish record-keeping requirements regarding review and approval of track repair work by supervisory staff
Continuously Welded Rail (CWR) Management
- Require companies to develop CWR management plans which include elements such as comprehensive installation and maintenance requirements.
- Require companies to follow their CWR management plans.
- Require that the CWR management plans, and changes to the CWR management plans, be approved by a Professional Engineer for a Class 1 railway and by an engineer for any other railway.
- Require companies to file their most current CWR management plans with Transport Canada.
- Modify non-compliance thresholds for track geometry conditions to reflect current industry best-practices
- Define combinations of track geometry conditions.
- Establish thresholds for the combinations of track geometry conditions which require remedial action(s) to be taken when these combination(s) of track geometry conditions are detected.
Rail Wear Management
- Require companies to develop rail wear management plans which include rail wear limits for each section (weight) of rail in service and prescribe the action(s) to be taken when rail approaches or exceeds limits.
- Require companies to follow their rail wear management plans.
- Require that rail wear management plans, and changes to rail wear management plans, be approved by a Professional Engineer for a Class 1 railway and by an engineer for any other railway.
- Require companies to file their most current rail wear management plans with Transport Canada.
Rail Surface Management
- Railway companies must develop internal standards which define the rail surface conditions caused by rolling contact fatigue (e.g., crushed heads, localized surface collapse, corrugation, and rail end batter) for which they must inspect. These internal standards must establish acceptable limits for these conditions and establish corrective action(s) to be taken when conditions approach and exceed limits.
- Require companies to follow their internal standards.
- Require internal standards, and changes to internal standards, be approved by a Professional Engineer for a Class 1 railway and by an engineer for any other railway.
Track Inspection Frequency
- Strengthen track inspection frequency requirement to reflect current industry best-practices, increased tonnage and variations in tonnage on subdivisions.
- Revise and clarify requirements related to walking track inspections.
- Revise and clarify requirements related to electronic joint bar inspections.
Automated Tack Inspection Technology
- Establish requirements governing the use of automated and continuous track inspection technology.
Structures / Other
- Establish requirement for concrete ties.
- Establish requirement for inspection of yard tracks over which passenger equipment carrying passengers operates.
- Establish requirements to develop and report on key track performance indicators
- Establish requirement to file with Transport Canada the most recent version of company track standards in text manipulatable format.
Subsection 19(2) of the RSA requires that a railway company shall not file rules unless it has first, during a period of sixty days, given a reasonable opportunity for consultation with each relevant association or organization that is likely to be affected by the implementation of the rules.
The rules shall be filed with the Minister in phases according to the following schedule:
Filing Date with the Minister
April 1, 2021
October 1, 2021
April 1, 2022
The Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Transport
9961526 Canada Limited
BNSF Railway Company
Canadian National Railway Company
Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Central Maine and Quebec Railway Canada Inc.
Chemin de fer Québec North Shore & Labrador
City of Ottawa carrying on business as Capital Railway
CSX Transportation, Inc.
Eastern Maine Railway Company
Goderich-Exeter Railway Company Limited
Great Canadian Railtour Company Ltd.
Hudson Bay Railway Company
Kettle Falls International Railway Company
Knob Lake and Timmins Railway Company Inc.
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK)
Nipissing Central Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway Company
Pacific & Arctic Railway Navigation, British Columbia & Yukon Railway, British Yukon Railway doing business as White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WP&YR)
RaiLink Canada Ltd.
St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (Québec) Inc.
St. Paul & Pacific Northwest Railroad Company, LLC
The Essex Terminal Railway Company
The Toronto Terminals Railway Company Limited
Transport Ferroviaire Tshiuetin Inc.
Union Pacific Railroad Company
VIA Rail Canada Inc