Transport Canada Order Pursuant to Section 32.01 of the Railway Safety Act (MO 20-10)

Whereas section 32.01 of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) provides that if the Minister considers it necessary in the interests of safe railway operations, the Minister may, by order sent to a company, road authority or municipality, require the company, road authority or municipality to stop any activity that might constitute a threat to safe railway operations or to follow the procedures or take the corrective measures specified in the order, including constructing, altering, operating or maintaining a railway work;

Whereas there have been a number of derailments of trains transporting dangerous goods during periods of colder ambient temperature in 2019 and 2020, and Transport Canada has issued a series of Ministerial Orders, specifically Ministerial Order 20-05, requiring companies to reduce train speeds, based on time of year and to implement additional track safety measures;

Whereas utmost care is necessary to ensure the safe transportation of dangerous goods by rail to address safety risks associated with trains carrying large quantities of dangerous goods, specifically when ambient temperature is coldest;

Therefore, I consider it necessary in the interest of safe railway operations to repeal Ministerial Order 20-05 and make the following order to require railway companies to, among other measures, restrict train speed based on temperature, under the condition that a Winter Operation Risk Mitigation Plan specific to each subdivision where higher risk key trains operate be developed and submitted to Transport Canada. Accordingly, pursuant to section 32.01 of the RSA, the companies listed in Appendix A are hereby ordered to follow the requirements set out below.

Part I: Speed Restrictions when a Winter Operation Risk Mitigation Plan is not in place

1. Except as permitted under Part IV and Part V, a company must:

  1. Not operate a Key train at a speed that exceeds 50 miles per hour (mph);
  2. Not operate a Key Train at a speed that exceeds 35 mph within Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs);
  3. From March 15th to 23:59:59 pm on November 14th,
    • not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 30 mph within CMAs; and,
    • not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 50 mph outside of CMAs;
  4. From November 15th to 23:59:59 pm on March 14th, while in signaled territory,
    • not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 25 mph within CMAs and 40 mph outside of CMAs; and,
    • not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 30 mph when temperature is minus twenty five degrees Celsius (-25 °C) or colder outside of CMAs;
  5. From November 15th to 23:59:59 pm on March 14th, while in non-signaled territory,
    • not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 25 mph within CMAs; and,
    • not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 25 mph outside of CMAs.

Part II: Requirement for Continuous Welded Rail Joint Management

2. For continuous welded rail joint management, a company must:

  1. Develop and implement a maintenance and inspection plan for permanent joints (joints at fixed locations by design such as bridges or crossing) and temporary rail joints (joints added in the track for maintenance purposes) which includes the following elements:
    • requirements for the frequency and methods of inspection;
    • time limits for the retention of temporary joints until permanently repaired; and,
    • record keeping requirements regarding the precise location, date of installation, date of inspection and date of removal of each temporary joint in continuous welded rail.
  2. File the plan with Transport Canada by the first of September every calendar year.

Part III: Requirement for Installation of Replacement Rail

3. For installation of replacement rail, a company must:

  1. Ensure replacement rail is ultrasonically inspected and free from rail defects prior to being put in service;
  2. When ultrasonic inspection of the replacement rail cannot be done prior to installation, put in place a speed restriction approved by a professional engineer, in the case of a Class 1 railway company or, in any other cases, approved by an engineer;
  3. Ensure that the speed restriction remains in place until the rail is ultrasonically inspected;
  4. Keep records for a minimum of one year indicating:
    • the date of the ultrasonic inspection whether prior to or after being put into service; and,
    • the location where the replacement rail is installed.

Part IV: Speed restrictions with a Winter Operation Risk Mitigation Plan in place

4. When a company develops and implements, a winter operation risk mitigation plan (the Plan), as described in Part V, the company may operate at speed restrictions defined in this Part.

  1. The company must:
    • Not operate a Key train at a speed that exceeds 50 miles per hour (mph);
    • Not operate a Key Train at a speed that exceeds 35 mph within Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs);
    • When ambient temperature is warmer than minus twenty-five degrees Celsius (-25 °C), while in signaled territory, not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 30 mph within CMAs and 50 mph outside of CMAs;
    • When ambient temperature is minus twenty five degrees Celsius (-25 °C) or colder, while in signaled territory, not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 25 mph within CMAs and 50 mph outside of CMAs;
    • When ambient temperature is warmer than minus fifteen degrees Celsius (-15 °C), while in non-signaled territory, not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 30 mph within CMAs and 50 mph outside of CMAs;
    • When ambient temperature is minus fifteen degrees Celsius (-15 °C) or colder, while in non-signaled territory, not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 25 mph within CMAs and 30 mph outside of CMAs; and,
    • While in non-signaled territory, with the presence of rail break detection technology in accordance with Part VI, not operate a Higher Risk Key Train at a speed that exceeds 25 mph within CMAs and 40 mph outside of CMAs when ambient temperature is minus fifteen degrees Celsius (-15 °C) or colder.
  2. For one year from the date the Plan is implemented, the company must keep records of the ambient temperature measurements and the maximum operating speeds communicated to operating crews for Higher Risk Key Trains.
  3. The Plan must be filed with Transport Canada before the speed restrictions defined in this Part can be implemented. 
  4. The Plan must be implemented from the date it is filed with Transport Canada to 23:59:59 pm on March 31st.

Part V: Requirements for Winter Operation Risk Mitigation

5. A company that operates at speed restrictions set out in Part IV must:

  1. Develop a winter operation risk mitigation plan that is implemented from the date it is filed with Transport Canada to 23:59:59 pm on March 31st specific to each subdivision, or defined portions of a subdivision where Higher Risk Key Trains operate, and include the subdivision name, range (mile from / to), and track identification, , and associated maximum operating speeds. This plan shall include the following elements:
    • rail grinding frequency to ensure that rail surface conditions do not mask detection of internal rail defects by rail flaw inspections;
    • time interval between successive rail grinding activities and the criteria to establish the time interval;
    • the minimum number of rail flaw inspections;
    • time interval between successive rail flaw inspections and the criteria to establish the time interval;
    • circumstances when additional visual inspections are required beyond what is prescribed in the Rules Respecting Track Safety;
    • criteria to identify locations more susceptible to rail and rail joints failures due to cold weather conditions and requirements for mitigating measures for those locations; and,
    • criteria to define rapid temperature fluctuations and measures to address their effect on the track.
  2. Immediately take action by reducing to an appropriate operating speed, if a missed segment of rail flaw inspection is identified;
  3. Take mitigating measures to ensure an equivalent level of safety, if an element of the plan cannot be adhered to due to unforeseen circumstances.
  4. File with Transport Canada, the plan, approved by a Professional Engineer, prior to operating at speed restrictions set out in Part IV.

Part VI: Requirements for Rail Break Detection Technology

6. For rail break detection technology, a company must:

  1. Ensure that a rail break detection technology is able to accurately and consistently detect rail breaks on live track and communicate the rail break immediately to the relevant persons that can halt rail traffic;
  2. Develop mitigation measures to be taken that ensure an equivalent level of safety if the rail break detection technology does not detect rail breaks and report the information back to the relevant persons that can halt rail traffic; and,
  3. Make available to Transport Canada, upon request, a description of the rail break detection technology, including its operating and maintenance processes.

For the purpose of this order,

“Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs)” means population centers defined and published by Statistics Canada as core (i.e., at least 50,000 persons) and secondary core (i.e., at least 10,000 persons) of CMAs.

“Key Train” means an engine with cars:

  • that includes one or more loaded tank cars of dangerous goods that are included in Class 2.3, Toxic Gases and of dangerous goods that are toxic by inhalation subject to Special Provision 23 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations; or
  • that includes 20 or more loaded tank cars or loaded intermodal portable tanks containing dangerous goods, as defined in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 or any combination thereof that includes 20 or more loaded tank cars and loaded intermodal portable tanks.

“Higher Risk Key Trains” means an engine with cars that include loaded tank cars carrying crude oil or liquefied petroleum gases, as defined in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, in a continuous block of 20 or more tank cars or 35 or more tank cars dispersed throughout the train.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the Minister approves revised Rules Respecting Key Trains and Key Routes that incorporate the above measures on a permanent basis.

Pursuant to subsection 32.1(1) of the RSA, a person to whom an order is sent under section 32.01 of the RSA may, on the date specified in the order, file a request for a review with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (Tribunal).

If you intend to request a review of this Order, you must file a request in writing with the Tribunal, which must be postmarked no later Monday December 7, 2020.

Pursuant to section 32.3 of the RSA an order issued under section 32.01 of the RSA shall not be stayed pending a review requested under section 32.1, an appeal under section 32.2 or a reconsideration by the Minister of Transport under subsection 32.1(5) or 32.2.(3) of the RSA.

Michael DeJong
Director General
Rail Safety
November 6, 2020

 

Appendix A

9961526 Canada Limited
Algoma Steel Inc.
Arnprior Nepean Railway Co. Inc.
Battle River Railway NGC Inc.
Big Sky Railway Corp.
BioPower Sustainable Energy Corporation
BNSF Railway Company
Boundary Trail Railway Company, Inc.
Canadian National Railway Company
Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Cando Rail Services Ltd.
Canfor Pulp Ltd. – Northwood Division
Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway Ltd.
Cargill Limited – Cargill Limitée
Carlton Trail Railway Company
Celanese Canada ULC
Central Maine and Quebec Railway Canada Inc.
Central Manitoba Railway Inc.
Chemin de fer de Québec-Gatineau Inc.
Chemin de fer Québec North Shore & Labrador
Chemin de fer Orford Express Inc.
Chemin de fer Sartigan
City of Ottawa carrying on business as Capital Railway
Compagnie du Chemin de fer Roberval-Saguenay
CSX Transportation, Inc.
Eastern Maine Railway Company
GIO Railways Corporation
Goderich-Exeter Railway Company Limited
Great Canadian Railtour Company Ltd.
Great Sandhills Railway Ltd.
Great Western Railway, Ltd.
Hudson Bay Railway Company
Huron Central Railway Inc.
Kamloops Heritage Railway Society
Keewatin Railway Company
Kettle Falls International Railway Company
Knob Lake and Timmins Railway Company Inc.
Koch Fertilizer Canada, ULC
Lake Line Railroad Inc.
Last Mountain Railway
Maska-Wa Transportation Association Inc.
Metrolinx
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK)
Nipissing Central Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway Company
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
Ontario Southland Railway Inc.
Pacific & Arctic Railway Navigation, British Columbia & Yukon Railway, British Yukon Railway doing business as White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WP&YR)
Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.
Port Stanley Terminal Rail Inc.
Prairie Rail Solutions Ltd.
Prudential Steel ULC
RaiLink Canada Ltd.
Railserve Inc.
Réseau de transport métropolitan
RIO Tinto Alcan
RTC Rail Solution Ltd.
Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie
Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society
Southern Rails Co-operative Ltd.
Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited
South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corporation
St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (Québec) Inc.
St. Paul & Pacific Northwest Railroad Company, LLC
Stewart Southern Railway Inc.
The Essex Terminal Railway Company
The Toronto Terminals Railway Company Limited
The Vintage Locomotive Society Inc. O/A Prairie Dog Central Railway
Thunder Rail Ltd.
Torch River Rail Inc.
Trillium Railway Co. Ltd.
Trillium Railway Co. Ltd. (Port Colborne Harbour Railway)
Transport Ferroviaire Tshiuetin Inc.
Union Pacific Railroad Company
VIA Rail Canada Inc.
West Coast Express Limited
West Coast Railway Association
York-Durham Heritage Railway
Windsor Transload Inc.