Grade Crossings Inventory

Information: The list of grade crossings produced by this system provides an inventory of the location and characteristics of the railway crossings in Canada, which includes grade crossings of provincial and federal jurisdiction. It is part of the information that the Railway Safety Oversight Program uses in assessing risk and compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. This information is being made public as part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to increase transparency and openness. The list was first published in April 2016 and will be updated annually by Transport Canada.

Under the Railway Safety Act and its associated rules and regulations, federally regulated railway companies and road authorities, generally municipalities or provinces, are ultimately responsible for the maintenance and safety of grade crossings and for ensuring grade crossings are compliant with the regulatory requirements.

Transport Canada’s role includes monitoring responsible parties through inspections to verify that they meet safety requirements under the Grade Crossings Regulations. Transport Canada provides funding assistance for safety improvements at grade crossings through the Rail Safety Improvement Program (RSIP). The RSIP provides grant and contribution funding for safety improvements to existing rail lines, closures of grade crossings and initiatives to raise awareness about rail safety issues across Canada.

This list of grade crossings on the Government of Canada’s Open Data Portal was generated by Transport Canada. It provides a ranking of risk using the GradeX tool, an internal web-based analysis tool that compares crossings against each other, based on the following risk factors:

  • Transportation Safety Board (TSB) data on rail occurrences;
  • The volume of road and railway traffic;
  • Maximum train and vehicle speeds;
  • Number of tracks and lanes;
  • Urban or rural environment; and
  • Warning systems in place at the crossing (i.e. gates, bells, lights).

It should be noted that this is not a comprehensive list of factors because it does not include other important factors in assessing risk such as sightline visibility, gradients, angle and proximity to nearby intersections, which need to be considered in the overall risk assessment at crossings.

The current list represents a snapshot as of April 16, 2018. Since the model uses a snapshot of crossing characteristics, there are changes in the relative ranking of crossings in the 2018 inventory from what was published in 2017. A change in the volume of road and railway traffic, the number of collisions, injuries or fatalities have the largest influence on the relative ranking.

The data elements presented in the list are from internal and public sources. They are generated and inputted as they become available to Transport Canada.

It is important to understand the distinction between “risk” and “danger”. Risk factors do not necessarily mean a crossing is unsafe. It means that when one compares two different crossings against these risk factors, one crossing may be deemed to be higher risk than the other. These characteristics are not compliance related, that is to say a crossing’s risk and rank does not meant that the crossing is unsafe.

For more information on railway grade crossings, please contact Transport Canada at railsafety@tc.gc.ca.

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