2006 TSB Recommendations & TC Responses

R04T0008 - Main Track Derailment - Canadian Pacific Railway Intermodal Train 239-13 - Mile 178.20, Belleville Subdivision, Whitby, Ontario, January 14, 2004 (R06-01)

TSB Full-Text Report (R04T0008):

TSB Recommendation R06-01

Overview of Rail Traffic Control Operations – (Action required, as presented in the TSB Report)

The Board recommends that:

The Department of Transport work with the Railway Association of Canada to implement rail traffic control protocols and training that will recognize periods of high workload and make safety paramount. (R06-01)

Transport Canada's Response (R06-01)

(signed by the Minister on July 12, 2006)

Transport Canada agrees in principle with the intent of this recommendation and will work together with the rail industry to examine periods of high rail traffic control workload activity, in the context of this recommendation and in the context of other regulatory initiatives that may impact this area.

R05T0030 - Pedestrian Fatality - Canadian National Freight Train Q-106-41-15 - Mile 124.88, Kingston Subdivision, Brockville, Ontario - February 17, 2006 (R06-02)

TSB Full-Text Report (R05T0030):

TSB Recommendation R06-02

Implementation of Enhanced Pedestrian Protection - (Action required, as presented in the TSB Report)

The Board recommends that:

The Department of Transport assess the risk to pedestrians at all multi track main-line crossings, make its assessment public and implement a program, in conjunction with stakeholders, to mitigate the risk of second train pedestrian accidents. (R06-02)

Transport Canada's Response (R06-02)

(signed by the Minister on November 28, 2006)

Transport Canada (TC) has carefully and thoroughly reviewed the Board recommendation and is in disagreement with the recommendation as stated. The recommendation is very broad, without supporting sound statistics or trends, thus failing to justify the effort to carry safety assessments at all multi-track main line grade crossings in Canada with a view to assessing the risk to pedestrians.

It is the Department's opinion that assessing all multi-track main line crossings in Canada would not be productive in light of all the studies and safety improvements that have been carried out with respect to pedestrian safety. The Department has made significant efforts since 1995, in opposition to the opinion expressed by the Board in its report and in other forums. Major improvements to pedestrian safety, such as pedestrian gates, maze barriers, guide fencing, walk don't walk lights, signage, have been carried out to many locations and TC has contributed about $2M towards some of those projects, through its Grade Crossing Improvement Program.

During 2006, TC Railway Safety Inspectors from Ontario and Québec regions have contacted many municipalities and examined multi-track main line grade crossings with respect to safety of pedestrians. The Ontario Region also facilitated the assessment of all grade crossings in the City of London, Ontario, which included the safety of pedestrians.

The Department takes very seriously every recommendation made by the Board on selected railway occurrences, nevertheless, it is also very important for TC to allocate its resources on what the Department perceives to be its highest risks pursuant to its analysis of all rail safety issues.

Transport Canada must balance a multitude of competing interests when determining what steps, if any, it should and ought to take in terms of railway safety and TC will continue to diligently work with railway companies and communities to improve safety for pedestrians and facilitate safety assessment of grade crossings.

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