Train Control Working Group Final Report

This is the final report of the Train Control Working Group.

The Train Control Working Group was created by the Advisory Council on Railway Safety to respond to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s investigation into the VIA Rail derailment near Burlington, Ontario, in 2012, which recommended that:

"The Department of Transport require major Canadian passenger and freight railways implement physical fail-safe train controls, beginning with Canada’s high-speed rail corridors." (R13-01)

Working Group members came from railway companies, unions, and Transport Canada. They studied a number of systems (also called Enhanced Train Control technologies) designed to prevent accidents caused by events such as distracted train crew members. They also looked at how suitable the systems are for Canada’s railway operations.

The report notes key challenges to making these systems work in Canada, such as:

  • the need to adopt a common technology standard, which will allow a train to operate on any track
  • the complexity of commuter, passenger, and freight trains all operating on the same rail network

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