- Article 1 – Interpretation
- Article 2 – GCR Amendments
- Article 3 – Citations
- Article 4 – Units of measurement
Under subsection 2(2) of the Railway Safety Act (RSA), the federal government has jurisdiction, in respect to transport by railway to which Part III of the Canada Transportation Act applies. In general, this means that TC has jurisdiction over companies that have a certificate of fitness issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). This jurisdiction applies to all road crossings on rail lines under federal jurisdiction.
The Government of Canada has jurisdiction over approximately 14,000 public and 9,000 private grade crossings along over 42,650 km of federally regulated rail lines in Canada. The Grade Crossings Regulations (GCR ) and the Grade Crossings Standards (GCS) serve to improve safety at these federally regulated grade crossings.
At the federal level, grade crossings are governed by various instruments under the RSA. Prior to the introduction of the GCR , these were also governed by the following two regulations (now repealed):
- Railway-Highway Crossing at Grade Regulations (E4)
- Highway Crossings Protective Devices Regulations (E6)
Other federal guidelines and voluntary standards to uphold safety at federally regulated grade crossings include (also included in the GCS):
- Engineering Standards for “Walk Light” Grade Crossing Warning Systems (TC E-39)
- Engineering Standards for Grade Crossing Warning Systems Used at Restricted Grade Crossings (TC E-52)
- Transport Canada Standard for LED Signal Modules at Highway Railway Grade Crossings
- Standards Respecting Railway Clearances (TC-E-05)
- Draft RTD 10 - Road / Railway Grade Crossings - Technical Standards and inspection, Testing and Maintenance Requirements
In August 2010, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) indicated on its Watch list of safety issues that the “risk of passenger trains colliding with vehicles remains too high in busy rail corridors.” It recommended that the Government of Canada develop a comprehensive solution for mitigating risk at grade crossings that includes new grade crossing safety regulations.
Between 2006 and 2010, collisions involving railway equipment, at public and private crossings, resulted in an average of 27 serious injuries and 25 fatalities annually. On average, there was one fatality for every nine collisions at grade crossings, and one serious injury for every seven collisions. In addition, trains derailed in one out of every 40 crossing collisions, often resulting in significant property damage and transportation system delays.
Thousands of road authorities, as well as railway companies, are responsible for the safety of grade crossings, making maintaining grade crossing safety a complex, multi-jurisdictional challenge. Public grade crossing safety involves over 1,500 different municipal, provincial, territorial, and federal authorities, and First Nation communities. The safety of private crossings involves thousands of private authorities and many different types of roads, including residential, agricultural, industrial, and commercial roads and recreational paths and trails.
The knowledge and collaboration of each party; the road or private authority and the railway company, play a pivotal role in ensuring adequate safety at grade crossings. Road authorities and railway companies must collaborate in sharing safety information, track and roadway layout, traffic volume, train speed, train volume, warning systems, and available sightlines, to enable each party to meet the required safety standards.
Several possible changes can affect safety at a grade crossing, including
- road and rail traffic volumes.
- land use; and
- railway and road design speeds.
However, the roles and responsibilities of railway companies and road authorities with respect to monitoring conditions at new and existing grade crossings may not always be clear; section 3 of the GCR provides more clarity.
Previous RSA reviews acknowledged that grade crossings fall under multiple jurisdictions, and that this complexity in the roles and responsibilities could lead to safety deficiencies. RSA reviews also identified blocked grade crossings as a serious safety concern.
In addition to the above, the requirements and definitions under the RSA are broad and provide the scope of its authorities. Other instruments also provide clarity on the design and maintenance of grade crossings or consistency with other governing authorities with respect to:
- the Canadian Rail Operating Rules.
- provincial highway traffic acts and other applicable standards.
- the operating characteristics of vehicles and trains; and
- driver training and education programs.
Although legislation and regulations exist governing grade crossing safety, other unregulated matters are covered by guidelines and best engineering practices. In the early 2000s, Transport Canada and stakeholders drafted standards (RTD-10) that set out best engineering practices for safety oversight at grade crossings, which road authorities and railway companies generally adhered to on a voluntary basis.
The primary objective of the Grade Crossings Regulations (GCR ) is to increase safety at Canada's federally regulated grade crossings: to reduce the incidence of death, injury and property damage and reduce environmental impacts. To achieve this, the RSA and GCR will require that railway companies, road authorities and private authorities oversee and manage the safety of their grade crossings in accordance with sound engineering principles, and in a manner like the way the safety of other road and railway infrastructures is managed. Implementation of the GCR is expected to:
- reduce the creation of new safety deficiencies at grade crossings; and
- ensure that all new and existing grade crossings consistently meet required safety standards.
Under the authority of the RSA, the GCR is expected to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents at federally regulated grade crossings. This will save lives and prevent injuries and derailments and will further Transport Canada's objective to serve the public's interest through the promotion of a safe and secure transportation system in Canada. In particular, the GCR will improve safety by providing comprehensive safety standards:
- establishing enforceable safety standards for grade crossings.
- clarifying the roles and responsibilities of railway companies and road authorities; and
- ensuring the sharing of key safety information between railway companies and road authorities.
The GCR also covers the relevant requirements of the repealed Railway-Highway Crossing at Grade Regulations and the Highway Crossings Protective Devices Regulations, thereby eliminating the remaining gaps identified in previous RSA reviews.
The following are key aspects of the GCR :
Grade Crossings Standards (GCS) — The GCS is incorporated by reference in the GCR . The GCS are clear, enforceable standards for meeting the safety goals of the RSA, thus improving consistency and safety at grade crossings. Railway companies and road authorities are required to comply with all of the GCS when constructing new grade crossings. In the event of a change at a grade crossing, railway companies and road authorities are required to comply with the GCS safety standards applicable to that change. Standards for existing public and private grade crossings are also set out in the GCR and the GCS. In the case of existing crossings, the GCR are designed to prioritize the timing at which a grade crossing must come into compliance with various requirements, which may or may not cause the grade crossing to be upgraded. The timing of these requirements is dependent on the physical and operational characteristics of a grade crossing. The requirements can come into effect as of November 28th, 2022 or November 28th, 2024 depending on the specific physical and operational characteristics of the grade crossing.
Roles and responsibilities — The GCR provide detailed clarification of the roles and responsibilities of railway companies, road authorities and private authorities regarding:
- the sharing of information and timelines.
- the design, construction, and maintenance of crossing surfaces.
- sightlines within a railway right-of-way; on the land on which the road is situated; and on the land, including private property, adjoining the railway right-of-way and in the vicinity of a grade crossing.
- Railway Crossing signs, Stop signs, Emergency Notification signs, Number of Tracks signs and traffic control devices; and
- the installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of grade crossing warning systems (GRC section 3).
Sharing of information — Railway companies and road authorities are required to share information with each other regarding existing public grade crossings within two (2) years of the coming into force of the GCR (e.g., by November 28, 2016) to provide each party with sufficient time to assess the safety of their infrastructure and plan accordingly. The GCR specifies the critical information to be shared between both parties to ensure safety at their grade crossing (e.g., information on the interconnection between traffic signals and warning systems). In addition, railway companies and road authorities are required to share information when a new grade crossing is constructed or when an alteration or operational change is made at an existing grade crossing. Railway companies are required to keep the most recent information provided to, and received from, road authorities. This sharing of information is intended to culture of collaboration among railway companies and road authorities responsible for safety at a given grade crossing (GCR sections 4 to 18).
Sightlines — Under the GCR , road authorities, private authorities and railway companies will be required to maintain sightlines at grade crossings. The GCR set out standards for sightlines and their maintenance. Sightlines will be preserved by prohibiting the construction of buildings or structures, or the placement of objects, that would obstruct them. Individuals will also be required to remove any trees or brush obstructing sightlines. Railway companies will be prohibited from leaving unattended any railway equipment that obstructs sightlines. For existing grade crossings, most requirements concerning sightlines must be met by November 28, 2022 or November 28, 2024; for grade crossings that are subject to the GCR , newly constructed grade crossings or grade crossings that undergo alterations or operational changes must meet the applicable sightline requirements. (GCR sections 19 to 28).
Inspection and testing — The GCR establishes that the design plan for a warning system must be kept at the grade crossing. Furthermore, warning systems, and traffic control devices that are interconnected with warning systems, must be inspected and tested in accordance with the GCS. Railway companies are required to keep a record of inspections and testing, as well as a record of any warning system malfunction or failure, for a minimum of two years (GCR sections 93, 95, 96, 109 and 110).
Prohibition of obstruction of public crossings — Under the GCR , where a city, town, municipality or other organized district passes a resolution that the obstruction of a public grade crossing creates a safety concern, the railway company and road authority will be required to collaborate to resolve the safety concern (GCR section 98).
Furthermore, railway companies are required to use all necessary measures to clear a public grade crossing immediately when an emergency vehicle requires passage; and road authorities are required to ensure that vehicles do not stop on the crossing surface of a public grade crossing where there is evidence that queued traffic regularly stops on that crossing surface (e.g. traffic lights cause congestion which leads to vehicles stopping on the crossing surface once a week) (GCR sections 97 to 100).
Temporary protection measures — The GCR establish safety requirements for periods when the road authority or railway company is undertaking an activity at a railway line or grade crossing that compromises the safety of railway operations. If a warning system, or a traffic control device that is interconnected with a warning system, malfunctions or fails, the railway company or the road authority must immediately put in place the protection measures necessary to address any threat to the safety of railway operations. As well, all information concerning such occurrences and any measures taken must be shared with the other authority (GCR sections 102, 103 and 110).
Train whistling (audible warning) — The GCR prescribe the requirements for areas where train whistling may be prohibited under section 23.1 of the RSA. The GCR provide for the safety attributes of grade crossings in such areas. For instance, for whistling cessation to occur, a grade crossing may require a warning system to be installed (GCR sections 104 to 107).
Repeals — The GCR repeal the Railway-Highway Crossing at Grade Regulations and the Highway Crossings Protective Devices Regulations. The GCR and the GCS together encompass the relevant requirements of both regulations (GCR sections 111 and 112).
Article 1 - Definitions
Standards, procedures, guidelines, and recommended practices of other organizations are incorporated by reference into the requirements set out in this document. If differences exist, the GCR and GCS shall prevail.
The following definitions apply in this handbook.
AccessibilityFootnote 1 refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities. (Accessibilité)
ActivationFailure means the failure of an automatic warning system to indicate the approach of a train at least 20 seconds prior to the train's arrival at the crossing surface or the presence of a train occupying the crossing unless the crossing is provided with an alternative means of actively warning crossing users of approaching trains. (This type of failure results in motorists assuming that it is safe to proceed across the railroad tracks, when in fact it is not safe to do so.) (Échec d'activation)
Adjoining means directly beside or surrounding (referred to in section 3(1) (a)(v) of the GCR ). (Contigu)
Advance Pre-emption means that notification of an approaching train is forwarded to the highway traffic signal controller prior to activation of the grade crossing warning system. (Prédéclenchement prioritaire)
Advisory Speed Tab sign means the sign referred to in Article 8.2.1 of the GCS, that is, a road sign indicating that a change in travelling speed is required for safety, given the design of the grade crossing. (Panneau« vitesse recommandée »)
Average Annual Daily Railway Movements means the number of movements of engines, or engines coupled with railway equipment, across a grade crossing in a year, divided by the number of days in that year. (Moyenneannuelle de mouvements ferroviaires quotidiens)
Adequate Lock means an ANSI Grade 1 certified high-security lock, or equivalent. The lock should be protected by a padlock cover, fastened, and be operated only by key, or specialized knowledge. (GCR 92) (Serrureadéquate)
Assistive DevicesFootnote 2 includes all specialized aids, devices or services that enable persons with disabilities to carry out their everyday activities, such as making it easier for them to get around (wheelchair, hand or arm support), or helping them to hear, see or speak (hearing aid, Braille reading materials, keyboard device for communicating). (Appareils fonctionnels)
Average Annual Daily Traffic means the number of motor vehicles that cross a grade crossing in a year, divided by the number of days in that year. (Débit journalier moyen annuel)
Back Light means a light unit within a warning system, found facing approaching traffic on the farthest side of the rail, focused to the point marking 15 m (50ft) measured from the closest flasher mast, gate or cantilever. (Feu arrière)
Bike Lane refers to a lane intended for the exclusive use of bicycles, immediately adjacent to a roadway used by motorized vehicles. (Voie cyclable)
Bike Path is a bicycle facility, physically separated from travelled way. (Piste cyclable)
Braking Distance means the distance it takes to stop the design vehicle once the brakes have been applied. (Distance de freinage)
Blocked Crossing means that a train, by either switching or standing, is preventing drivers and pedestrians from passing at a public grade crossing for more than five (5) minutes. This includes the operation of the warning system gates. A train or engine may stand on any part of a public grade crossing for an extended period, but only if no vehicle or pedestrian requires passage. (Passage à niveau obstrué)
Boulevard The strip of land paralleling the roadway between the curb and the sidewalk, often planted with trees, grass, and/or shrubbery. (Banquette)
Clear Days means the days between two given days, excluding those days. For example, between Sunday and the following Sunday, there are six clear days. (Jour franc)
Collision means an impact, other than an impact in normal operating circumstances, between rolling stock; rolling stock and a person; or rolling stock and an object or animal, if the rolling stock is damaged or derailed. (Collision)
Company means a railway company or local railway company (see RSA). (Compagnie)
Component An individual part or combination of parts that, when interconnected, perform a design function(s). (Composante)
Crossing Identification Number means the unique number assigned to each grade crossing, established by Transport Canada. (Numéro d'identification de passage à niveau)
Cross-product means the product of the average annual daily railway movements and the average annual daily number of motor vehicles that cross a grade crossing. (Produit vectoriel)
Crossing Surface means the part of a road that lies between the ends of a railway tie and that has the width shown in Figure 5-1 of the GCS. (Surfacedecroisement)
Crossing User means vehicle, driver, pedestrian, cyclist, and person using assistive devices. (Usager du passage à niveau)
Crossing Workmeans a road crossing or utility crossing. (Ouvrage de franchissement)
CyclistFootnote 3 means a person who operates a muscular powered or motor assisted bicycle, tricycle, or unicycle. (Cycliste)
Design Plan means a plan, sketch, or preliminary drawing outlining the following details (Plan de conception)
- the configuration of the components of the warning system.
- the layout of the circuitry and signal equipment.
- the parameters for the operation of the components of the warning system.
- the type of light, including the lens deflection angles, if applicable, and the alignment coordinates of the light units; and
- the details of any interconnection with a traffic control device.
Design Vehicle means the most restrictive vehicle that routinely traverses a grade crossing may be one of the vehicles shown in figures 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199 of the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads, published by the Transportation Association of Canada in September 1999. (Véhicule design)
Emergency Notification Sign means the sign referred to in Article 8.5 of the GCS. It is used by employees of railway or road authorities, as well as the public, to report incidents, malfunctions or threats to the safety of railway operations. (Panneau « Avis d'urgence »)
Engineering Standards means engineering standards established pursuant to section 7 of the RSA. (Normes techniques)
Note: All engineering work relating to railway works must be approved by a professional engineer. (RSA 11(2))
Existing Grade Crossing means a grade crossing for which actual construction started before the day on which the GCR came into force (e.g., before November 28, 2014). (Passage à niveau existant)
Expressway means a high-speed, divided highway for through traffic, with partially or fully controlled access. (Route express) approved to be
Fail-safe means a railway signaling design principle, the objective of which is to eliminate the hazardous effects of a failure of a component or system. (À sûreté intégrée)
Failure to Warn - See activation failure. (Impossibilité d'avertir)
Freeway means an express highway, more particularly one with controlled access. Freeways inherently preclude grade crossings, as they cannot be crossed, except by overpasses and underpasses. (Autoroute)
Front Light means a light unit within a warning system, found facing approaching traffic on the near side of the rail, focused to a point not less than the stopping sight distance (SSD) and, where possible, measured from in advance of the closest flasher mast, gate, or cantilever. (Feu avant)
Grade Crossing means a road crossing at grade, or two or more road crossings at grade where the lines of railway are not separated by more than 30 m. This encompasses road approaches from the SSD. (Passage à niveau)
Grade Crossings Standards means the Grade Crossings Standards (GCS) published by the Department of Transport, on January 1, 2019. (Normes sur les passages à niveau (NPN))
Grandfathered means exempt from a new law or regulation. (Droits acquis)
Ground means a conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, by which an electrical circuit or equipment is connected to the earth, or to some conducting body of relatively large extent that serves in place of the earth. (Mise à la terre, mise à la masse)
Interconnection means the electrical connection between the railroad active warning system and the highway traffic signal controller assembly for the purpose of pre-emption of any kind. (Interconnexion)
Intermediate Front Light means an additional set of light units added to a warning system to provide visibility from an entrance way or road intersection including sidewalks, paths, or trails. (Feu avant intermédiaire)
Isolation means the physical and electrical arrangement of the parts of a facility, system, or equipment to prevent uncontrolled electrical contact within or between the parts. (Isolement)
Line Work means a line of railway, including any structure supporting or protecting that line of railway or providing for drainage thereof; a system of switches, signals, or other like devices that facilitates railway operations; or any other structure built across, besides, under or over a line of railway, that facilitates railway operations, but does not include a crossing work. (Ligne de chemin de fer)
Maximum Railway Operating Speed, in respect of a grade crossing, means the maximum zone speed for railway equipment—considering speed restrictions due to gradients, permanent or temporary slow orders, passenger stations or track configuration—operating on a line of railway while approaching a grade crossing. (Vitesse maximale pratiquée sur la ligne de chemin de fer)
Maximum Road Operating Speed, in respect of a grade crossing, means the maximum vehicle speed at the safe stopping sight distance and within the grade crossing approaches. (Vitesse maximale pratiquée sur la route)
Minister means the Minister of Transport for Canada. (Ministre)
Multi-Use Pathway refers to a pathway that is separated from the travelled way for intended use of pedestrian, cyclist, and similar user type. A multi-use pathway may be shared or may be separated. (Chemin à usages multiples)
New Grade Crossing means a grade crossing for which actual construction was started on or after the day on which the Regulations came into force (e.g., after November 28, 2014). (Nouveau passage à niveau)
Number of Tracks Sign means the sign referred to in Article 8.1.2 of the GCS and, for the purposes of sections 58 and 73 of the GCR , the sign referred to in Article 4 of Part B of the Grade Crossings Standards. (Panneau « Nombre de voies ferrées »)
Obstruction of a Public Crossing, with respect to section 97 of the GCR , means leaving railway equipment on a crossing surface or otherwise obstructing the flow of road traffic for more than five minutes—including by activating a warning system or a warning system with gates—when vehicular or pedestrian traffic is waiting to cross. (Obstruction d'un passage à niveau public)
Padlock Cover - See adequate lock (Couvre-cadenas)
Pedestrians include people walking, running, or standing; manual/motorized wheelchair or scooter users; people using canes or walkers; people pushing strollers or carts; dismounted cyclists; and users of various other low speed forms of human locomotion (e.g., skateboards). (Piétons)
Pedestrian Refuge Area is a small section of pavement or sidewalk where a pedestrian can stop before crossing. (Zone de refuge piéton)
Persons with Mobility DisabilityFootnote 4 means any persons that has difficulty walking on a flat surface for 15 minutes (Personnes à mobilité réduite)
Pre-emption means the transfer of the normal operation of traffic signals to a special control mode. (Commande prioritaire)
Prepare to Stop at Railway Crossing sign means the sign referred to in Article 18.1 of the GCS. (Panneau « Préparez-vous à arrêter à un passage à niveau »)
Private Authority means a person, other than a road authority, who has a right with respect to a private grade crossing. (Autorité privée)
Private Grade Crossing means a grade crossing that is not a public grade crossing, where railway tracks intersect with a road that is typically owned and used by private authorities, such as farmers, commercial businesses, or private individuals. (Passage à niveau privé)
Proponent, in respect with a railway work, means the person who proposes, or has proposed, the construction or alteration of the railway work, whether voluntarily or because of a requirement under the RSA. (Promoteur)
Public Grade crossing means a grade crossing where railway tracks intersect with a road that is owned or maintained by a public authority, such as a province, municipality, or band council, and used by the general public. (Passage à niveau public)
Railway Crossing Ahead Sign means the sign referred to in Article 8.2.1 of the GCS. (Panneau « Signal avancé d'un passage à niveau »)
Railway Crossing Sign means the sign and post referred to in Article 8.1.1 of the GCS and the sign referred to in Article 4 of Part B of those Standards. (Panneau « Passage à niveau »)
Railway Design Speed means the railway equipment speed that corresponds to the current design of the grade crossing. (Vitesse de référence sur la voie ferrée)
Railway Work means a line work or any part thereof; a crossing work or any part thereof; or any combination of the foregoing. (Installations ferroviaires)
Road Approach means the part of a road, other than the crossing surface, that lies between the point that marks the start of the stopping sight distance (SSD) and the point that marks the front of a design vehicle when it is past the clearance point as shown in Figure 10-1 of the GCS. (Abord routier)
Road Crossing means that part of a road that passes across, over or under a line of railway, and includes any structure supporting or protecting that part of that road. (Franchissement routier)
Road Crossing Design Speed means the motor vehicle speed that corresponds to the current design of the grade crossing. (Vitesse de référence au franchissement routier)
Safe Railway Operations, in respect of the RSA, includes actions and situations that do not constitute a threat to or that enhance the safety of railway operations, railway equipment, and persons and property transported by or crossing railways, and of persons, goods and property in the vicinity of a railway. (ferroviaire sécuritaire)
Separate Grade Crossing, for the purposes of the GCR , means two adjacent and separate roads that are used by motor vehicles and that cross one or more lines of railway. (Passage à niveau distinct)
Shoulder refers to the portion of roadway that is continuous with the travelled way intended for emergency stopping, and or lateral support of the roadway structure. It may also be configured to be accessible for cyclist and may vary in width from one jurisdiction to another. (Accotement)
Sightlines means the sightlines referred to in sections 20 and 21 of the GCR , as applicable. Sightlines are measured from a point 1.05 m above the road surface to a point 1.2 m above the top of the lowest rail. They include the line of sight from the stopping sight distance to a set of front light units, or a Railway Crossing sign, at a grade crossing with or without an automatic warning system with or without gates. (Lignes de visibilité)
SidewalkFootnote 5 refers to a travelled way intended for pedestrian use, following an alignment generally parallel to that of adjacent roadway. (Trottoir)
Simultaneous Pre-emption means that notification of an approaching train is forwarded to the highway traffic signal controller unit or assembly and railroad active warning devices at the same time. (Déclenchement avancé simultané)
Smooth and Continuous, in respect of the surface of a road approach, crossing surface, travelled way and shoulders, means to be free of defects (potholes, rutting, heaving, rough surfaces, cracks) and the horizontal and vertical alignment between or within the crossing surface/road approaches shall transition evenly without causing road users to stop abruptly, reduce their speed or deviate from the roadway. (Lisse et continu).
Stand-alone Sidewalk, Path or Trail means a separate grade crossing located outside of an adjacent grade crossing warning systems island circuit. (Trottoir, piste ou sentier Indépendant)
Stand on any part of a crossing for a longer period than five minutes means to stop, assume a stationary position, or cease to move. A train or engine may stand on any part of a public grade crossing for an extended period, provided no vehicle or pedestrian requires passage. (Bloquer toute partie du passage à niveau pour plus de cinq (5) minutes) (Passage à niveau obstrué)
Stop Ahead Sign means the sign referred to in article 8.3.1 of the GCS. (Panneau « Signal avancé d'arrêt »)
Stop Sign means the sign referred to in article 8.4.1 of the GCS. (Panneau « Stop »)
Stopping Sight Distance (SSD) means the distance calculated in accordance with article 7.2 of the GCS. (Distance de visibilité d'arrêt (SDD))
Storage Distance means, on a road that crosses a grade crossing, the shortest distance between the rail nearest the road approach of the grade crossing and the edge of the nearest intersecting road, measured along the center line of the road, as represented by D in Figure 11-1 of the Grade Crossings Standards. (distance de stockage)
Switching means moving equipment from one track to another track, or to different positions on the same track. This includes the moving of equipment in the make-up and break-up of trains; the moving of equipment on industrial switching tracks or interchange tracks; and the general movement of equipment within terminals or at junctions. The doubling over of trains, in the make-up and break-up of trains, is also considered to be switching. (Manœuvre)
Tactile Walking Surface Indicator (TWSI) refers to a warning treatment along the road approach that alerts the pedestrian to the presence of a grade crossing through a tactile surface and/or contrasting color. (Indicateur tactile de surface de marche)
Traffic Control Device(s) (Dispositif de contrôle de la circulation):
- a Stop sign.
- a Stop Ahead sign.
- a Railway Crossing Ahead sign.
- an Advisory Speed Tab sign.
- a Prepare to Stop at Railway Crossing sign, including the interconnection with the warning system; or
- a traffic signal, including the interconnection with the warning system.
Travelled Way means that part of a road intended for vehicular, excluding shoulders. (Chaussée)
Vehicle includes an automobile, a motorcycle, a motor assisted bicycle and any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power but does not include a streetcar or other motor vehicle running only upon rails, a power-assisted bicycle, a motorized snow vehicle, a traction engine, a farm tractor, a self-propelled implement of husbandry or a road-building machine. (véhicule)
Vicinity means the area adjoining, surrounding and nearby (referred to in 3(1)(b)(iv) of the GCR ). (À proximité)
Vulnerable Road User (VRU)Footnote 6 means pedestrians, individuals on a bicycle or motor assisted bicycle, individuals in a wheelchair, or other devices driven by muscular or any other kind of power that is designed for and used by a person whose mobility is limited by one or more conditions or functional impairments. (Usager de la route vulnérable)
Warning System means an automated system, other than an interconnected traffic signal, that indicates the approach or presence of railway equipment at a grade crossing and that is composed of any combination of light units, bells, gates, operating mechanisms and circuits. (Système d'avertissement)
Within means throughout the entire area between two points. (Dans les limites)
Article 2 - GCR Amendments
The Grade Crossings Regulations use a phased-in approach providing flexibility to stakeholders. In November 2021, changes were made to the regulations' compliance deadlines. The compliance timelines have been modified in a manner that prioritizes grade crossings by levels of risk:
- November 28th, 2022 for high-priority grade crossings, and
- November 28th, 2024 for all other grade crossings
Note: Existing private grade crossings can have a limited use warning system installed, as long as the crossing access conditions are met.
High Priority Grade Crossings
A high-priority grade crossing is a public grade crossing that's used by at least 10 trains a day and with a railway design speed of 97 km/h (60 mph) or more. High priority crossings must meet the regulations by November 28th, 2022.
If a crossing's characteristics change and is deemed to be high priority after November 28th, 2022, it will need to meet the regulations immediately.
For information on train volumes or speeds, refer to the grade crossings map, or contact the railway company.
Other Grade Crossings
All other grade crossings must meet the regulations by November 28th, 2024.
Grade Crossing Upgrades
There are 4 types of conditions where a new or existing grade crossing will not be required to meet some of the regulatory requirements.
The following types of crossings do not have to meet the requirements in sections 19 to 96 of the regulations:
- Public grade crossings that are used by no more than 3 trains, the railway design speed is 17 km/h (10 mph) or less, no more than one track crosses the grade crossing, the storage distance (the shortest distance between closest rail to the crossing's road approach and edge of the nearest intersecting road, measured along the centre line of the road) is 30 metres or more, whistling is required or allowed when railway equipment approaches the grade crossing, and the cross-product (average annual daily railway movements multiplies the average annual daily traffic) is less than 2,000.
- Private grade crossings where the railway design speed is 17 km/h (10 mph) or less, no more than two tracks cross the grade crossing, and the cross-product (average annual daily railway movements multiplies the average annual daily traffic) is less than 100.
- Private grade crossings where the railway design speed is 41 km/h (25 mph) or less for freight trains and 49 km/h (30 mph) or less for passenger trains, no more than one track crosses the grade crossing, the storage distance (the shortest distance between closest rail to the crossing's road approach and edge of the nearest intersecting road, measured along the centre line of the road) is 30 metres or more, the cross-product (average annual daily railway movements multiplies the average annual daily traffic) is less than 100, and there's no sidewalk.
- Public or private grade crossing where trains have stopped using the railway line.
Learn how these amendments could affect you here.
Article 3 - Citations
62-GP-11M refers to the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standard 62-GP-11M, Marking Material, Retroreflective Elements, Adhesive Backing, and dated May 1978, as amended in July 1987 (Amendment No. 1).
AREMA Communications and Signals Manual means the 2014 edition of the Communications and Signals Manual of Recommended Practice, published by the Communications and Signals Group of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), in effect since December 31, 2013.
ASTM D4956 is the 11th edition of the Standard Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control, published by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), dated March 30, 2011.
Grade Crossings Standards means the Grade Crossings Standards published by the Department of Transport on January 1, 2019.
Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada means the 4th edition of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada (MUTCDC), prepared by the Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee, published by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), in September 1998.
CROR stands for the Canadian Rail Operating Rules, approved by the Minister of Transport under the authority of the Railway Safety Act, as amended from time to time.
Geometric Design Guide means the Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads, published by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), in September 1999.
Guide for the Design of Roadway Lighting means the Guide for the Design of Roadway Lighting, Volume 2 - Design, Chapter 13: At-Grade Railway Crossing, published by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), as amended from time to time.
ITE Pre-emption Practices means Pre-emption of Traffic Signals Near Railroad Crossings, a recommended practice of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), published in 2006, as amended from time to time.
NCHRP Report 350: Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features are the procedures recommended by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), published by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the of the (U.S.) National Research Council.
Grade Crossings Regulations means SOR/2014-275 the regulations pursuant subsection 7(1) section 7.1 subsections 18(1) and 18(2) paragraph 23.1(1)(a), subsection 24(1) and sections 37 and 47 of the Railway Safety Act Registration 2014-11-28.
Article 4 - Units of measurement
Although the metric system was first legalized in Canada by Prime Minister John A Macdonald in 1871, the British imperial system of units (based on yards, pounds, gallons, etc.) continued to predominate. In the 1960s, with technology rapidly advancing and expanding worldwide trade, the need for an international measurement system became increasingly apparent. In addition, the size of measurements such as the gallon differed between the United States and Canada, despite both countries using the imperial system. Beginning with the 1969 White Paper, Canada gradually transitioned from the imperial to the metric system of measurement.
Imperial measures continue to be used by the railway industry today. Standards respecting train speed and distances along railway rights-of-way and are in imperial units.
|1 millimeter [mm]||0.0393701 inch [in.]||0.00328084 foot [ft.]|
|1 centimeter [cm]||10 mm||0.393701 inch [in.]||0.0328084 foot [ft.]|
|1 meter [m]||100 cm||3.2808399 foot [ft.]||0.000621371 mile [mi]|
|1 kilometer [km]||1000 m||3280.84 foot [ft.]||0.621371 mile [mi]|
|1 inch [in.]||0.083333 ft.||25.4 millimeter [mm]||2.54 centimeter [cm]|
|1 foot [ft.]||12 in.||304.8 millimeter [mm]||30.48 centimeter [cm]|
|1 foot [ft.]||0.000189394 mi.||0.3048 meter [m]||0.0003048 kilometer [km]|
|1 mile [mi.]||5280 ft.||1609.34 meter [m]||1.60934 kilometer [km]|
|1 kilometer per hour [km/h]||0.277778 m/s||0.621371 mile per hour [mph]||0.911344 foot per second [ft./s]|
|1 meter per second [m/s]||3.6 km/h||2.23694 mile per hour [mph]||3.28084 foot per second [ft./s]|
|1 mile per hour [mph]||1.46667 ft./s||0.44704 meter per second [m/s]||1.60934 kilometer per hour [km/h]|
|1 foot per second [ft./s]||0.681818 mph||0.3048 meter per second [m/s]||1.09728 kilometer per hour [km/h]|
|Miles per Hour||Feet per Second||Distance Travelled in Feet|