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Canada’s Minister of Transport announces updated rail safety rules

The Minister of Transport has announced the approval of the revisions to reduce the risk of uncontrolled movements of trains.

Torontobound Metrolinx GO transit MotivePower Industries Corporation locomotive 651 pulling a commuter train through a station past a Canadian flag.

The Minister of Transport for Canada, Omar Alghabra, has announced the approval of revisions to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules and the Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules to reduce the risk of uncontrolled movements of trains. Transport Canada has continuously worked with the railway industry to update the rules, regulations, and standards to improve the safety of Canada’s railway system and protect all Canadians who live and work along rail lines.

To help ensure that trains are properly secured, revisions to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules and the Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules will establish:

  • Performance standards for locomotives equipped with rollaway protection, which is a feature designed to automatically apply brakes when there is an unintended movement of a train
  • Safety procedures and requirements that must be met before leaving a locomotive, such as confirming that brakes are effectively set and double-checking with another employee that safeguard measures have been implemented
  • Testing procedures to ensure that the rollaway protection system is operating properly.

The new rules build on measures in place to secure trains and reduce the risk of uncontrolled movement, such as requiring handbrakes be applied in specific circumstances, and will further help keep communities and workers safe.

“Our government is committed to keeping Canadians and workers safe and these updates build on the significant work already being undertaken by the railway industry to implement measures to prevent the occurrence of uncontrolled movements,” Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, said. “Every additional layer of protection to reduce the risk of the uncontrolled movement of railway equipment helps keep communities and Canadians who live and work along rail lines safer.”

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