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Technology

Railways

 

Overview

Technical Safety BC regulates railways that operate solely within British Columbia and have a certificate issued by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Provincial railways are subject to the British Columbia Railway Act, Railway Safety Act and adopted federal railway safety legislation. We regulate five different classes of railways: common carrier, heritage, commuter, industrial, and industrial sidings and spurs.

 

 

Key Statistics


 

161

incidents reported to us.

13

injuries reported to us.

153

inspections (physical assessments).


 


 

Incidents

Railway accidents and incidents are reported in accordance with adopted federal regulations. Typically, these accidents and incidents are low speed and low risk. 

In 2018 the number of Railway incidents reported to us increased. The largest proportion was associated with industrial railways.

There were two incidents ranked Severe in 2018, both attributed to suicide rather than failure of technical equipment.  

The most prevalent type of incident was derailment (68), followed by run-through switch (20) and collision (18). These were found to be mostly caused by procedural error or human error.

The category Under Assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC, but which were still under investigation at year-end. 

Injuries

The number of injuries reported to us decreased compared to last year.

It's important to note that we receive injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to us and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

There were two fatal incidents in 2018 -- both attributed to suicide as opposed to technical failure. 

Permits

Technical Safety BC does not issue operating or installation permits to Railways. 

 

Assessments & Audits 

As part of regular oversight, our Railway safety officers assess and audit all operating railways. These may result in non-compliances where the railway is found to not be in compliance with the applicable acts, regulations, rules and guidelines. Railway operations are also audited against their safety management systems, which are required for all railways. The Railway Safety Program issues recommendations as a result of these audits.

Technical Safety BC safety officers completed 153 assessments and audits of Rail equipment in 2018. Those assessments are rated as follows:

Note: Unlike some other technologies we regulate, Railways does not have a Conditional Pass category. 

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