Railway Safety Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))

Act current to 2017-12-11 and last amended on 2017-06-22. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Inconsistencies with operating agreements

 This Act and all regulations, rules, certificates, orders, exemptions and emergency directives made or issued under this Act prevail over the provisions of any agreement or order that enables a company to operate railway equipment on the railway of a railway company in the event of an inconsistency between them.

  • 2012, c. 7, s. 5.

Relationship to Navigation Protection Act

Marginal note:Compliance with Navigation Protection Act

 If a person proposes to construct or alter a railway work in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water as defined in section 2 of the Navigation Protection Act, the requirements imposed by or under this Act apply in addition to, and not in substitution for, the requirements imposed by or under the Navigation Protection Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 5;
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 341.

Coordination Agreements

Marginal note:Agreements between Department and Agency

 The Minister may enter into an agreement with the Agency providing for the following matters and may, in consultation with the Agency, take any action that is necessary to ensure that the terms of the agreement are disclosed to any railway company or other person likely to be affected by it:

  • (a) the coordination of the activities of the Department of Transport and the Agency

    • (i) relating to the construction, alteration, operation or maintenance of railway works and railway equipment, or

    • (ii) in determining whether a person is constructing, operating or maintaining a railway; and

  • (b) procedures to be followed by that Department and the Agency in the event that conflicting interests arise between them in their activities with respect to those matters.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 6;
  • 2012, c. 7, s. 6.
Marginal note:Agreements with provincial ministers
  •  (1) The Minister may enter into an agreement with a provincial minister responsible for transportation matters providing for the administration, in relation to persons who operate railways within the legislative authority of the province, of any law respecting

    • (a) railway safety and security and the safety aspects of railway crossings; or

    • (b) matters relating to the protection of the environment to which this Act applies.

  • Marginal note:Designation of body or person

    (2) The Minister may designate any body established under an Act of Parliament, or any person or class of persons employed in the federal public administration, to administer the law in accordance with the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Duties and powers

    (3) The designated body, person or class of persons may perform any duty and exercise any power necessary for the enforcement of the law, to the extent specified in the agreement.

  • 2012, c. 7, s. 6.
Marginal note:Agreements with provincial authorities

 The Minister may enter into an agreement with a provincial authority to authorize the provincial authority to regulate the matters referred to in subsection 6.1(1) in relation to a railway in the same manner and to the same extent as it may regulate a railway within the authority’s jurisdiction.

  • 2012, c. 7, s. 6.

PART IConstruction or Alteration of Railway Works

Standards

Marginal note:Regulations
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting engineering standards governing the construction or alteration of railway works, and such engineering standards may embrace both physical specifications and performance standards.

  • Marginal note:Railway company required to formulate standards

    (2) The Minister may, by order, require a railway company

    • (a) to formulate engineering standards governing any matters referred to in subsection (1) that are specified in the order or to revise its engineering standards governing those matters; and

    • (b) within a period specified in the order, to file the formulated or revised standards with the Minister for approval.

  • Marginal note:Formulation or revision of standards

    (2.1) A railway company shall file with the Minister for approval any engineering standards in respect of any matter referred to in subsection (1) that it proposes to formulate or revise on its own initiative.

  • Marginal note:Application of certain provisions

    (3) Subsections 19(4) to (11) apply in relation to standards referred to in subsection (2) or (2.1), with any modifications that the circumstances require and without regard to the references to relevant associations or organizations.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 7;
  • 1999, c. 9, s. 3;
  • 2012, c. 7, s. 7(F);
  • 2015, c. 31, s. 18(F).

Construction and Alteration of Road Crossings

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations regulating or prohibiting the construction or alteration of road crossings.

  • 1999, c. 9, s. 4;
  • 2015, c. 31, s. 19.

Notice of Certain Proposed Railway Works

Marginal note:Notice of certain proposed railway works
  •  (1) If a proposed railway work is of a prescribed kind, the proponent shall not undertake the work unless it has first given notice of the work in accordance with the regulations. However, it may undertake the work if all persons to whom the notice was given file with the proponent a response indicating that they do not object to the work.

  • Marginal note:Filing of objections

    (2) A person to whom a notice is given under subsection (1) may file with the proponent an objection to the proposed railway work if the person considers that the proposed railway work would prejudice their safety or the safety of their property. The objection must include reasons and be filed before the expiry of the period specified in the notice for the filing of objections, and a copy of it must be filed without delay with the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Withdrawal of objection

    (3) A person who has filed an objection under subsection (2) and subsequently wishes to withdraw that objection shall so notify the proponent and the Minister, and the objection shall be deemed to be withdrawn on receipt by the Minister of the notice.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 8;
  • 1999, c. 9, ss. 5, 37(E).
Marginal note:Frivolous or vexatious objections
  •  (1) Where the Minister is satisfied that an objection filed under subsection 8(2) is frivolous or vexatious or that the proposed railway work to which the objection relates is in the public interest, the Minister may send a notice to that effect to the person who filed the objection, and the objection shall thereupon be disregarded for all purposes of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Proponent to be notified

    (2) The Minister shall send a copy of a notice under subsection (1) to the proponent.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 9;
  • 1999, c. 9, s. 37(E);
  • 2015, c. 35, s. 1.

Undertaking of Proposed Railway Works

Marginal note:Railway works for which Ministerial approval required
  •  (1) Where

    • (a) a proposed railway work departs from any applicable engineering standards, or

    • (b) a proposed railway work is one in respect of which notice has been given under subsection 8(1) and, at the expiration of the period specified in that notice for the filing of objections, there is an outstanding objection,

    the proponent shall not undertake that work otherwise than in accordance with the terms of the Minister’s approval given under this section pursuant to a written request, filed with the Minister, for such approval.

  • Marginal note:Request for approval before end of notice period

    (1.1) A request to the Minister for approval of a proposed railway work under subsection (1) may be filed before the end of the period specified in the notice given under subsection 8(1) if all persons to whom the notice was given have filed a response with the proponent.

  • Marginal note:Withdrawal of objection

    (1.2) A proposed railway work described in paragraph (1)(b) may be undertaken without the Minister’s approval if the outstanding objection is withdrawn.

  • Marginal note:Material to accompany request for Minister’s approval

    (2) A request to the Minister for approval of a proposed railway work pursuant to subsection (1) must be accompanied

    • (a) in all cases, by a plan of the work to which the request relates, which plan must include such drawings, specifications and other particulars as are prescribed;

    • (b) where paragraph (1)(a) applies, by a statement setting out the manner in which the work departs from the applicable engineering standards and the reasons for such departure; and

    • (c) where paragraph (1)(b) applies, by the response of the proponent to the outstanding objections.

  • Marginal note:Consideration of requests for approval

    (3) On receipt of a request for approval of a proposed railway work under this section, the Minister shall, having regard to the material referred to in subsection (2) and any other factors that the Minister deems relevant, consider whether the proposed railway work is consistent with safe railway operations and shall, before the expiration of the assessment period,

    • (a) if satisfied that the work is consistent with safe railway operations, notify the proponent and any objecting party that the Minister approves the work, either absolutely or on such terms as are specified in the notice; or

    • (b) if not satisfied that the work is consistent with safe railway operations, by notice

      • (i) inform the proponent and any objecting party that the Minister refuses to approve the work and of the reasons why the Minister is not so satisfied, or

      • (ii) direct the proponent to file with the Minister and any objecting party, within the period specified in the notice, such further particulars relating to the work as are specified in the notice.

  • Marginal note:Late approval

    (4) Where a railway work has been undertaken without the required approval of the Minister having first been given, the Minister may nevertheless approve the work in accordance with this section.

  • Marginal note:Minister may seek advice

    (5) The Minister may, in deciding whether to approve a proposed railway work, engage any person or organization having expertise in matters of safe railway operations to furnish advice to the Minister in relation to the matter.

  • Marginal note:Further particulars

    (6) Where the proponent is directed to file further particulars pursuant to subparagraph (3)(b)(ii) and

    • (a) fails to file the further particulars within the period referred to in that subparagraph, it shall be deemed to have withdrawn its request to the Minister for approval of the work; or

    • (b) files the further particulars within the period referred to in that subparagraph, this Act shall thereupon have effect as if the request that the Minister approve the work had been filed only at the time when the further particulars were filed.

  • Marginal note:Period for which approval in force

    (7) The Minister’s approval of a proposed railway work under this section does not authorize the commencement of that work after the expiration of

    • (a) the period specified in the approval; or

    • (b) if the approval does not specify a period, one year after the approval is given.

  • Definition of assessment period

    (8) In this section, assessment period, in relation to a request that the Minister approve a proposed railway work, means

    • (a) the period of sixty days commencing on the day on which the request is filed; or

    • (b) if, before the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (a), the Minister determines that, by reason of the complexity of the work to which the request relates, the number of requests filed or any other reason, it is not feasible to consider the request before the expiration of that period, and so notifies the proponent and any objecting party, such period in excess of that period of sixty days as the Minister specifies in the notices.

  • Marginal note:Period of inquiry not part of assessment period

    (9) Where, pursuant to section 40, the Minister directs a person to conduct an inquiry respecting a proposed railway work, the period commencing on the day when the Minister so directs and ending on the day when the person reports back to the Minister pursuant to section 40 shall be disregarded in computing the assessment period.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 10;
  • 1999, c. 9, ss. 6, 37(E).
 
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