Railway Crossings of Other Railways: A Resource Tool

Introduction

This resource tool is designed to help parties who wish to construct a railway line across another railway line.

Agreements

The parties involved in constructing a railway line across another railway line may negotiate any aspect of a crossing. Under section 99 (Part III) of the Canada Transportation Act, they may file an agreement, or an amendment to an agreement, with the Canadian Transportation Agency. The filed agreement becomes an order of the Agency authorizing the parties to construct the railway line, as provided for in the agreement.

Any such order for a railway crossing establishes a statutory right to cross at a specific location and registers the agreement with the Agency as a court of record in the event of a future dispute.

When negotiating an agreement the parties may want to consider the following items:

  • location of the crossing;
  • a description of the project;
  • the purpose of the project;
  • plans or drawings prepared to scale, signed, and dated;
  • liability;
  • design;
  • material standards;
  • duration (including removal provisions);
  • costs, such as those related to construction, maintenance and restoration;
  • safety requirements;
  • environmental impact; and
  • other project-specific issues.

The agreement must clearly demonstrate the consent of both parties. A written, signed agreement may be submitted to the Agency:

By mail
Secretary
Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N9
By courier
Secretary
Canadian Transportation Agency
15 Eddy Street
17th Floor, Mailroom
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B3
By fax
819-997-6727

In addition, you should send a copy of the application to each of the parties involved.

Disputes

Under section 99 (Part III) of the Act, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement respecting a railway crossing, the party proposing to construct the crossing may apply to the Agency. The Agency may authorize the construction of the railway line or any related work, and may rule on the disputed issues.

A written, signed application may be submitted to the appropriate address above. A copy of the application should be sent to each of the parties involved.

In order for the application to be considered complete, the following information should be included:

  • the location of the crossing (including railway mileage and subdivision of each line);
  • a description of the project, in the level of detail that would ordinarily be included in an agreement;
  • the purpose of the project, when it is not clear;
  • a list or description of the issues to which both parties have agreed;
  • a list or description of the contentious issues to be resolved by the Agency, on which the other party will be given an opportunity to comment; and
  • an environmental assessment of the project that must be conducted by the applicant and screened by the Agency. (This is a requirement of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act).

The application should also include two copies of a general arrangement plan or drawing, prepared to scale and appropriately dated and signed. The plan should include the following information:

  • a title block containing the names of the railway companies, the subdivisions and mileages, and the plan number;
  • a plan view of the railway crossing, including:
    • the location and width of the railway companies' rights-of-way, including all the railway infrastructure, for at least 400 metres in each direction from the crossing;
    • drainage and utility facilities relating to the railway crossing; and
    • any necessary changes to the infrastructure or to the rights-of-way of the railway companies;
  • a profile of the railway lines for at least 400 metres in each direction from the crossing with the elevation of the original ground at the centre line of the track; and
  • for a railway line crossing under or over another railway line:
    • the limits of the project within which the parties could share costs, in the applicant's opinion;
    • an elevation of the proposed work indicating horizontal and vertical clearances; and
    • a cross section of the proposed work showing the track structure, number and spacing of tracks, walkways, railings, drainage and utility facilities.

Safety and funding

Authority to establish or modify a railway crossing under the Act does not relieve the parties of their obligations under the Railway Safety Act (RSA). Transport Canada is responsible for safety and funding matters under the RSA. For more information on RSA safety requirements, go to the Rail Safety section of Transport Canada’s Web site or contact one of the following Transport Canada Surface Regional Offices:

Atlantic Region:
1-800-387-4999
Quebec Region:
514-633-2714
Ontario Region:
416-952-0154
Prairie and Northern Region:
1-888-463-0521
Pacific Region (B.C.):
604-666-3518