Grade Crossings

Grade crossing

Road crossing where a road passes across a line of railway at grade


(The use of the word "responsible" shall not be interpreted as determining liability for costs.)

Railway company (in respect of a grade crossing, a railway company that owns or operates over the line of railway at the grade crossing)

The railway company is responsible for:

  1. the part of the road surface of the grade crossing that lies between the rails of each track, the part that lies outside the rails, up to the ends of the railway ties, and the elevation of the railway tracks in relation to the road;
  2. sightlines along the railway right of way;
  3. drainage along the railway right of way;
  4. railway crossing signs;
  5. grade crossing warning systems.

Road authority (in respect of a grade crossing, the road authority that has the legal authority to open and maintain the road that passes across the line of railway at grade)

The road authority is responsible for:

  1. the road approaches and those parts of the surface of the road up to the ends of the railway ties, including the elevation of the road in relation to the railway track;
  2. sightlines along the road right of way;
  3. drainage along the road right of way;
  4. traffic control devices on road approaches and stop signs at grade crossings, including devices that interconnect with grade crossing warning systems;
  5. lighting devices to illuminate trains, engines and other railway equipment occupying grade crossings to ensure that they are clearly visible to pedestrians and drivers of vehicles; and
  6. the removal of snow from the road for the safe passage of vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and persons using assistive devices over the grade crossing.

Transport Canada / Railway Safety Act

  • Transport Canada's mission is to develop and administer policies, regulations and services for the best transportation system for Canada and Canadians - one that is safe and secure, efficient, affordable, integrated and environmentally friendly.
  • The Railway Safety Act gives Transport Canada responsibility to oversee railway safety. The Act provides the regulatory framework for railway safety, security, and some of the environmental impacts of railway operations in Canada.
  • Transport Canada has regulations, standards and programs to oversee safety at road/railway grade crossings.

Canadian Transportation Agency / Canada Transportation Act

  • The Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that makes decisions on a wide range of matters involving federally-regulated modes of transportation (air, rail and marine), and has the powers, rights and privileges of a superior court to exercise its authority.
  • The Agency resolves disputes on rail crossings (including the apportionment of costs) between federal railways and other parties who may interact with those railways. Such parties include municipalities, road authorities, utility companies, private landowners and nearby residents.
  • The Canadian Transportation Agency's mission is to administer transportation legislation and Government of Canada policies to help achieve an efficient and accessible transportation system by education, consultation and essential regulation.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada / Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act

  • The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is an independent agency created to advance transportation safety through the investigation of occurrences in the marine, pipeline, rail and air modes of transportation. You can quickly access rail investigation reports, recommendations and assessments of responses, statistics, and Reflexions Magazine with the following link:

Legislative requirements

A proponent shall not undertake the construction or alteration of a grade crossing unless it has first given notice of the work in accordance with the Notice of Railway Works Regulations. For more information, consult the Notice of Railway Works Regulations.

Design and Maintenance

Funding - Safety improvements and crossing closure

Other related information

Community issues