Transport Canada has taken several targeted measures to strengthen the safety of the railway and transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) systems in Canada. These measures include:
Changes to the Rules Respecting Track Safety have been approved by Transport Canada. These changes are the result of a Ministerial Order that was issued in 2020 to address major risks that could cause derailments due to the condition of railway infrastructure.
Changes to the Rules Respecting Key Trains and Key Routes have been approved by Transport Canada to improve rail safety. These changes are the result of Ministerial Orders that were put in place in 2020, to address important risk factors for derailments caused by railway infrastructure, especially during winter operations.
The Minister of Transport announced that the Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees have been updated to better reflect the latest science on fatigue management and to keep Canadians working or living near railways safe.
The Minister of Transport issued a new Ministerial Order under the Rail Safety Act, to further reduce the risk of derailments during cold temperatures, and to improve the efficiency of Canada’s winter rail operations.
The Minister of Transport announced the publication of the final version of the Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
Three Ministerial Orders were issued, under the Railway Safety Act, to improve rail safety in Canada and reduce train derailments. One Order targeted speed restrictions for key trains and higher-risk key trains, while the second and third Order directed railway companies to update the current industry rules governing track safety, and the movement of dangerous goods in Canada. These orders will remain in place until permanent rule changes are approved.
The Minister of Transport announced the publication in Canada Gazette, Part II of amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, updating regulations on dangerous goods tank cars and Emergency Response Assistance.
A Ministerial Order was issued, under the Railway Safety Act, to all railway companies. It mandated the use of handbrakes should a train be stopped on a mountain grade after an emergency use of the air brakes. The order took effect immediately and will remain in effect as long as necessary.
The Government of Canada contributed $2.5 million over three years to establish a regulatory sandbox that facilitates the electronic sharing of shipping documents for dangerous goods. The regulatory sandbox will identify timely and flexible solutions for technological advancement in the transportation of dangerous goods and provide the evidence necessary for Transport Canada to modernize the amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations with paperless alternatives.
The Minister of Transport responded to the 2018 Railway Safety Act Review Report. He accepted the report's 16 recommendations, which will help address persistent rail safety issues and position Canada's rail transportation system to meet the challenges of the next decade.
Government of Canada provided $16.5 million under the Rail Safety Improvement Program to support 136 new projects and initiatives, including improvements to 104 grade crossings and rail infrastructure across the country.
The Minister of Transport announced the publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, of proposed Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations that specify the technical requirements for rail companies to install these devices on-board their locomotives.
|2013-07-23||Issued an Emergency Directive that required securing unattended locomotives and established the number of crew members required for operating a locomotive carrying dangerous goods.|
|2013-07-23||Issued a Ministerial Order requiring companies to formulate rules respecting unattended locomotives, prevention of uncontrolled movements and crew size requirements.|
|2013-10-17||Issued Protective Direction No. 31 under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act requiring any person who imports or offers for transport crude oil to retest, or classify, their crude oil prior to shipment, and, in the interim, ship it at the highest packing group level (PG1) until testing is completed.|
|2013-11||Engaged technical and industry experts to make recommendations regarding emergency response, means of containment, and classification|
|2013-11-20||Issued Protective Direction No. 32 under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act requiring railway companies to share information with municipalities to support emergency planners and first responders.|
|2013-12-26||Approved updated Canadian Rail Operating Rules that encompass more stringent operational safety requirements for railway companies.|
|2014-01-11||Published proposed regulatory changes to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part I, to adopt new requirements for DOT-111 tank cars, including thicker steel requirements and top fitting and head shield protection.|
|2014-03-21||Completed stakeholder consultations regarding a comprehensive review of the liability and compensation regime for rail and developed policy options for consideration;|
|2014-04-23||Issued an Emergency Directive requiring railway companies to immediately implement key operating practices, including reducing the speed of trains transporting dangerous goods;|
|2014-04-23||Issued Protective Directions No. 33 and 34. Protective Direction 33, which requires emergency response assistance plans for five Class 3 flammable liquids: crude oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and ethanol. Protective Direction 34, removes the least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars from dangerous goods service.|
|2014-06-27||Collaborated with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group to discuss railway and TDG safety-related concerns such as improving risk assessments, emergency planning and response capability, and increasing insurance requirements for railways and shippers;|
|2014-06-02||Published amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part II, that incorporate a standard with new requirements for the DOT-111 tank car standards.|
|2014-07-10||Inaugural meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force announced on April 23.|
|2014-07-18||Launched consultations on the future standard for tank cars. These consultations are part of the regulatory development process, and mark the next step in Transport Canada's ongoing actions to strengthen the transportation of dangerous goods by rail.|
|2014-08-01||Launched a second stage of consultations to strengthen the liability and compensation regime and ensure railways and shippers are held accountable in the event of an incident.|
|2014-08-14||Second meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2014-08-19||The TSB released its final report including two recommendations regarding: (1) ensuring safeguards are in place to secure unattended train cars and prevent runaways, and (2) ensuring Safety Management System (SMS) audits are conducted frequently/in-depth and that proper follow-up is performed. In addition to these recommendations, the TSB issued two Safety Advisory Letters to Transport Canada on (1) verifying that dangerous goods being transported are properly tested and classified, and (2) ensuring employees at railways, particularly short lines, are properly safety trained;|
|2014-09-11||Third meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2014-10-09||Fourth meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2014-10-10||Government Response to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Interim Report is tabled in the House of Commons;|
|2014-10-29||Responded to the TSB final report and announced a suite of actions;|
|2014-10-29||Issued an Emergency Directive under the Railway Safety Act establishing a standardized minimum for hand break applications and specific testing requirements, and additional physical defences for unattended trains;|
|2014-10-29||Issued a Ministerial Order under the Railway Safety Act requiring railway companies to develop and enhance rules on train securement;|
|2014-10-29||Issued a Ministerial Order under the Railway Safety Act, requiring certain railways (including short lines) to submit training plans to TC for review. Additionally, TC has committed to conduct an audit blitz of short lines with respect to qualification standards of operating crews to determine specific training gaps and any other issues that arises;|
|2014-10-29||Amended the SMS audit cycle to a three-to-five year cycle and will recruit additional specialized auditors to provide guidance to inspectors on conducting audits and on the elements of an effective SMS;|
|2014-11-20||Fifth meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2014-12-04||Initiated crude oil sampling as part of a research project to assess properties, behaviour and hazards of crude oil transported in Canada through sampling, testing and analysis of a variety of crude oils from different regions;|
|2014-12-04||Presented First Quarterly Report and Recommendations of the Emergency Response Task Force to the Director General, Transportation of Dangerous Goods;|
|2014-12-11||Sixth meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2014-12-17||Published the Grade Crossings Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part II, which will establish new safety standards for federally regulated grade crossings and immediately come into force.|
|2014-12-18||The Minister met with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to talk about the importance of harmonizing rail tank car standards.|
|2014-12-31||Published amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. The updates include a ban on transporting lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada, new labelling and Emergency Response Assistance Plan requirements for certain dangerous goods as well as incorporating Protective Direction 33 into the regulations.|
|2015-01-01||The coming into force of the Railway Operating Certificate Regulations, which require railway companies to hold a valid Railway Operating Certificate in order to operate on federally-regulated railways in Canada.|
|2015-01-15||Seventh meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2015-02-19||Eighth meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2015-02-20||Minister introduced the Safe and Accountable Rail Act that will enhance railway safety and make the rail industry and crude oil shippers more accountable to Canadians.|
|2015-03-19||Ninth meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
The coming into force of the:
|2015-04-16||Tenth meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force is held;|
|2015-04-23||Issued emergency directive to slow trains transporting dangerous goods.|
|2015-04-30||Announced joint safety study with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada on locomotive voice and video recorders to improve rail safety.|
|2015-05-01||Announced the TC-117 tank car standard, the next generation of stronger, safer rail tank cars.|
|2015-05-20||Presented Second Quarterly Report and Recommendations of the Emergency Response Task Force to the Director General, Transportation of Dangerous Goods.|
|2015-05-20||Published amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations to the Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations entitled: Regulations Amending the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TC 117 Tank Cars) in the Canada Gazette, Part II.|
|2015-05-25||Kick-off meeting to the joint Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada Safety Study on Locomotive Voice and Video Recorders.|
|2015-06-06||Published proposed amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations to help improve emergency response and risk analysis through stronger, more comprehensive data collection.|
|2015-06-17||Regulations amending the Railway Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (Railway Safety Management System Regulations, 2015 and legislative requirements under the Railway Safety Act) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on June 17, 2015 and came into force upon registration.|
|2015-08-17||Extended the Emergency Directive under the Railway Safety Act, renewing requirements for railway companies to implement key operating practices, including reducing the speed of trains transporting dangerous goods;|
|2015-08-17||Issued a new Ministerial Order under the Railway Safety Act renewing requirements for all railway companies and local railway companies to formulate rules and, as the case may be, revise rules respecting the transportation of dangerous goods.|
|2015-10-14||Rule 112 of the Canadian Railway Operating Rules came into force.|
|2015-12-03||Posted an abstract of research into crude oil sampling and analysis of abstract of research into crude oil sampling and analysis on Transport Canada's website.|
|2016-02-19||Rules Respecting Key Trains and Key Routes came into force.|
|2016-03-12 et 2016-03-13||Transport Canada and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) conduct Exercise Vulcan to improve Canada's response capabilities in the event of an incident involving a train carrying flammable liquids, such as crude oil.|
|2016-03-17||Final meeting of the Emergency Response Task Force (ERTF). The ERTF final report is expected in 2016.|
|2016-03-17||An online training tool for first responders, Emergency Preparedness for Rail Incidents Involving Flammable Liquids in Canada is developed and released by Enform, and funded in Part by Transport Canada and other stakeholders. Input to develop the tool was provided by Transport Canada's Emergency Response Task Force.|
|2016-03-31||Publication of Competency Guidelines for Responders to Incidents of Flammable Liquids in Transport, High-Hazard Flammable Trains to assist local jurisdictions in developing training curriculum for firefighters.|
|2016-04-20||Regulations Amending the Railway Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (Grade Crossings Regulations) are published in Canada Gazette, Part II and come into force upon registration.|
|2016-04-28||Issued Protective Direction No. 36, replacing the existing Protective Direction No. 32, under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. Protective Direction 36 requires railways to provide municipalities and first responders with even more dangerous goods information to improve emergency planning, risk assessments, and help train first responders. It also requires operators to provide jurisdictions with information that can be shared directly with the Canadian public.|
|2016-04-28||Transport Canada releases the 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook, which guides first responders in identifying the specific or generic hazards posed by certain substances in an incident.|
|2016-04-28||Transport Canada announces that additional information about railway crossings across Canada will be shared with municipalities through Canada's new Open Government Portal.|
|2016-05-21||The Prevention and Control of Fires on Line Works Regulations is published in in Canada Gazette, Part I.|
|2016-06-01||Published amendments to Part 8 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations to improve reporting requirements in order to enhance public safety and improve local emergency response. Published amendments to the Contraventions Regulations to reflect new security requirements in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.|
|2016-06-06||Issued Protective Direction No. 37, under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, which requires top-fitting protection when TC/DOT-111 tank cars are retrofitted according to the retrofit schedule introduced in May 2015 regarding the TC-117 tank car standard. These requirements will enhance the safety of the transport of flammable liquids including crude oil and ethanol in Canada, and will further align Canadian requirements with those for retrofitted TC/DOT-111 tank cars in the U.S.|
|2016-06-18||Federally regulated railways are required to carry a mandatory minimum level of insurance, based on the type and volume of dangerous goods they carry, ranging from $25 million to $1 billion.|
|2016-06-18||The coming into force of the Safe and Accountable Rail Act.|
|2016-07-25||Issued Protective Direction 38, which accelerates the phasing out of DOT-111 tank cars for crude oil service to November 1, 2016. The accelerated timeline will phase out unjacketed legacy DOT-111 tank cars six months early and legacy jacketed DOT-111 cars 16 months early.|
|2016-10-12||Launched the Rail Safety Improvement Program, which increases funding, expands the list of recipients and broadens the scope of projects that could be funded to enhance rail safety.|
|2016-10-31||Marked the complete removal of all legacy DOT-111 tank cars from crude oil service by 12:01 a.m. November 1st, in accordance with Protective Direction 38.|
|2016-12-06||Launched Let's talk transportation of dangerous goods, a website to gather feedback from Canadians, with the goal of updating the training requirements in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, with a closing date of February 28, 2017.|
|2016-12-14||Inaugural meeting of the Steering Committee on First Responder Training, a committee to help facilitate the development of a national flammable liquids curriculum for first responders.|
|2016-12-23||Posted the The ERTF Final Report and Recommendations on Transport Canada's Website|
|2017-02-25 et 2017-02-26||Transport Canada and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) conduct Exercise Athéna, an exercise to improve the response capabilities of first responders to incidents involving a train carrying flammable liquids.|
|2017-04-26||Launched the statutory review of the Railway Safety Act a year ahead of schedule, with a focus on examining existing provisions and programs under the Act, including their suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness.|
|2017-05-16||Minister Garneau introduced the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49) in the House of Commons that proposes changes to laws to improve the transportation system, help grow the economy and improve safety and security for Canadians. This bill is a first legislative step to deliver on early measures that are part of Transportation 2030.|
|2017-06-09||The Locomotive Emissions Regulations came into force and aim to reduce air pollutants from locomotives operated by federally-regulated railway companies.|
|2017-06-16||The Prevention and Control of Fires on Line Works Regulations came into force, which set out the planning and preventative measures required by railway companies and local railway companies to reduce the likelihood of fires caused by railway operations.|
|2017-11-11||A Notice of Intent is published in the Canada Gazette, Part I to outline a proposed approach to incorporate up-to-date fatigue science in current requirements and further strengthen Canada's safety regime.|
|2018-01-09||Posted an abstract of research into crude oil sampling and analysis on Transport Canada's website.|
|2018-01-23||Published 'You're Not Alone!', a quick reference guide for first responders.|
|2018-05-23||The Transportation Modernization Act received Royal Assent. This legislation amends the Railway Safety Act to mandate the installation of locomotive voice and video recorders. Transport Canada will now develop regulations for locomotive voice and video recorders.|
|2018-06-27 et 2018-06-28||Transport Canada co-hosted a Fatigue in Transportation Forum at McGill University, bringing together participants from all modes of transportation, including stakeholders in the Canadian transportation industry and academic experts on fatigue science, to discuss risks and best practices relating to the management of fatigue.|
|2018-09-19||Issued Protective Direction 39, which accelerates the phasing out of unjacketed CPC 1232 tank cars that transport crude oil 17 months early, from April 1, 2020 to November 1, 2018 DOT 111 tank cars and unjacketed CPC 1232 tank cars that carry condensates over six years early, from April 30, 2025 to January 1, 2019.|
|2018-12-20||Minister Garneau issued Order to railway companies to revise the Work/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees to include most up-to-date science on fatigue.|
Transport Canada continues to work closely with U.S. railway and TDG counterparts (e.g., U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) to identify and coordinate further safety improvements in support of the integrated North American railway system.