Guideline for Culvert Safety Management

Part E - Culvert Inspection

4.1 - Scope

Each railway authority's CSMP should provide for an effective culvert inspection program.

A railway authority's CSMP should clearly define the different types of culvert inspections to be undertaken, including the frequencies of these inspections.

4.2 - Culvert Inventory

Each railway authority's CSMP should include an inventory of all culverts over which trains operate and at a minimum, include the following information:

  1. Location (i.e. subdivision and mileage);
  2. Number of tracks;
  3. Culvert type;
  4. Culvert Dimensions (i.e. span, rise, and number of cells);
  5. Total length;
  6. Height of Cover (measured from the top of the culvert to the bottom of tie);
  7. Year installed, if available;
  8. Geo-referenced coordinates (i.e. longitude, latitude); and
  9. Type of crossing (i.e. stream, pedestrian walkway, cattle pass etc.).

4.3 - Scheduling of Culvert Inspections

In addition to visual inspection requirements of culverts contained in the Track Safety Rules, a railway authority shallFootnote 11 have a CSMP that:

  1. Should include a documented structural inspection at a minimum of once every five years. Should any culvert inspection indicate that the culvert is at a minimum acceptable condition (advance deterioration evident but still functioning as intended), the culvert should be scheduled for a more frequent visual documented inspection, as determine by a Railway Engineer; and
  2. Should include an inspection of any culvert that has not been in railway service and has not been inspected in accordance with this section. The inspection report shallFootnote 12 be reviewed by a Railway Engineer prior to the resumption of railway service.

4.4 - Culvert Inspection Procedures

  1. Each railway authority's CSMP should specify the procedure to be used for inspection of various types and sizes of culverts.
  2. The culvert inspection procedures should be specified by a Railway Engineer or his designate. The inspection procedures should incorporate the methods, means of access, and level of detail to be recorded for the various types and sizes of culverts.
  3. The culvert inspection procedures should ensure that the level of detail in the inspection procedures is appropriate for the size and configuration of the culvert and conditions found during previous inspections.
  4. The culvert inspection procedures should be designed to detect, report, and protect deteriorations and deficiencies of the culvert, the channel conditions, hydraulic capacity and the surrounding fill material before they present a hazard to safe railway operations.

4.5 - Special Inspections

Each railway authority's CSMP should include a procedure for the protection of traffic and for the inspection of any culvert that might have been damaged by an unusual event including but not limited to flood, fire, ice flows, debris flows, sub-grade instability, beaver dam failure, earthquake, derailment, and vandalism.

4.6 - Submerged Culverts

Each railway authority's CSMP should include provisions for underwater inspections to detect the deterioration of culvert components that are submerged, or where the culvert cannot be inspected due to the depth of water.

In order to provide reasonable assurance of the culvert's integrity, the railway authority should have in place an underwater inspection program that:

  • Identifies the culverts to inspect;
  • Includes markers for the identification of culvert locations in the field; and
  • Includes a list of items to inspect, and the frequency of inspections.

Smaller diameter culverts should include documented monitoring program that includes the frequency and items to be consider, as determined by the Railway Engineer.

4.7 - Inspection of Drainage Channel Conditions

  1. Each railway authority's CSMP shallFootnote 13 include provisions to ensure each drainage facility or culvert under or immediately adjacent to the roadbed is maintained and kept free of obstruction, in order to accommodate expected water flow for the area concerned.

4.8 - Culvert Inspection Records

  1. Each railway authority's CSMP should keep a record of each inspection that has been performed on culverts.
  2. Each record of an inspection under the CSMP described in this part should be prepared from notes taken on the day(s) the inspection is made, supplemented with sketches and photographs as needed.
  3. Each railway authority's CSMP should specify that every culvert inspection include, as a minimum, the following information:
    1. An identification of the culvert inspected;
    2. The date (i.e. month, year) on which the inspection was completed;
    3. The identification of the inspector;
    4. The type of inspection performed;
    5. An indication on the report as to whether any item noted thereon requires a expedited or critical review by a Railway Engineer or his designate, and any restrictions placed at the time of the inspection; and
    6. The condition of components inspected, which may be in a condition-reporting format, together with any narrative description or photographs, as necessary, for the correct interpretation of the report.
  4. Each railway authority's CSMP should specify the retention period and location of culvert inspection records.

4.9 - Review of Culvert Inspection Reports

Each railway authority's CSMP should specify the manner and timeline in which culvert inspection reports are to be reviewed by a Railway Engineer, or his designate, to:

  1. Determine whether inspections have been performed in accordance with the relevant schedule and specified procedures;
  2. Evaluate whether any items on the report represent a present or potential hazard to safe railway operations;
  3. Require any modifications to the inspection procedures or frequency for that particular culvert; and
  4. Schedule any repairs or modifications to the culvert that are required to maintain its structural integrity and hydraulic capacity.
  5. Ensure that inspection reports are reviewed in accordance with the timeline identified in the railway authority's CSMP.

4.10 - Culvert Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Railway companies are required to implement and maintain processes for the identification of safety issues and concerns,Footnote 14 evaluating and classifying risks by means of a risk assessmentFootnote 15, and implement necessary risk control strategiesFootnote 16.