Wire Crossings and Proximities Regulations: Guidelines for BC's Heritage Railways
1. These Guidelines may be cited as the Wire Crossings and Proximities Guidelines.
2. In these Guidelines,
“across” or “cross” means crossing under or over;
“BCSA” means British Columbia Safety Authority,
“communication line” means a line for telegraphic, telephonic, signalling or other intelligence
“construction” includes extensive modification and extensive reconstruction;
“Heritage railway” means a railway, which only operates or moves railway equipment of Historical
“line” includes a communication line and a supply line, including the wires, cables, conductors and
their supporting or containing structures and appliances, if any, forming part thereof or used in
“maintenance” includes repairing;
“MOTI” means the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
“near” means in such proximity as may give rise to the possibility of physical, inductive or
“supply line” means a line used primarily for the transmission of a supply of electrical energy for
other than telegraphic, telephonic, signalling or other intelligence purposes.
3. These Guidelines apply to the construction and maintenance of lines, wires or other conductors for
the transmission of electrical energy, or for communication purposes, for which leave of the MOTI
is required and have been or are to be constructed or maintained by consent and in accordance
with these Guidelines
4. These Guidelines apply except where the MOTI directs or permits a departure therefrom in respect
to any particular line.
5. (1) The party that has leave of the MOTI or consent to carry out construction or maintenance of
a line (hereinafter called the “line party”) shall do so at its own expense.
(2) The construction and maintenance shall be carried out in accordance with the applicable
rules, requirements and specifications issued from time to time by the Canadian Standards
Association and approved by the MOTI.
(3) Upon such approval by the MOTI, such rules, requirements and specifications shall
automatically, without further order, be adopted and incorporated in these Guidelines.
(4) The construction and maintenance shall also be carried out, and the line operated, in such a
manner as not unduly to interfere with or obstruct the operation of any railway or line crossed
or neared or to endanger the safety of the railway or line or of persons using or working on
the railway or line.
(5) Such additional precautions shall be taken as the Railway Safety Manager of BCSA may
6. (1) Before constructing any line that, when completed, will be
(a) along or across a railway, or
(b) near a line that is within the legislative authority of the Province of British Columbia,
the party proposing to do so shall
(c) apply to the party owning, operating or having control over the railway or line for its
written consent to the construction and maintenance of the line; and
(d) if required, send to the party referred to in paragraph (c) detailed plans of the
(2) Where the consent referred to in subsection (1) cannot be obtained or cannot be obtained
otherwise than subject to terms and conditions not acceptable to the party proposing to
construct a line, that party may apply to the MOTI for leave to construct and maintain the
(3) A party applying to the MOTI for the leave referred to in subsection (2) shall
(a) file with the MOTI:
(i) three copies of a statement setting out all the facts relevant to the application,
(ii) three copies of a plan, profile and cross section combined of the proposed works
and of the part of the railway or line that the proposed line will cross or be near
showing the location of the proposed line; and
(b) give notice of the application, with a copy of the statement and the plan, profile and
cross section combined, to the party referred to in paragraph (1)(c).
7. (1) Before commencing any work of construction or maintenance of a line, except minor
changes or minor repairs, the line party shall give to an officer of the other party owning,
operating or having control over the railway or line to be crossed or neared, if such railway or
last mentioned line is within the legislative authority of the Province of British Columbia, at
least 72 hours notice thereof in writing; except that in an emergency the work may be
commenced without the giving of the notice, but in such event notice shall be given by
telegram as soon as is reasonably possible.
(2) The other party may appoint an inspector under whose supervision the work shall be carried
out, and whose wages and expenses shall be paid by the line party upon receipt from the
other party of a statement showing in reasonable detail the particulars of such wages and
expenses; but if the line party is a municipality or the agent of a municipality, and the line on
which the work is to be done is on a highway within the jurisdiction of the municipality the
said wages shall be paid by the other party.
8. (1) Notwithstanding section 5, in every case in which a railway or a line within the legislative
authority of the Province of British Columbia, is to be constructed along, across or near any
existing line, the existing line shall be made to conform to such of the rules, requirements
and specifications issued from time to time by the Canadian Standards Association and
approved by the MOTI as are applicable thereto or as are necessary to avoid interference
with the service of the railway or line.
(2) The party owning, operating or having control over the existing line shall, after receiving
whatever information may be necessary to determine any changes that are required, send
plans of those changes to the party proposing to construct the railway or line and, upon
receipt of that party’s written consent shall, at that party’s expense, make such changes.
(3) Where a railway or line is constructed across or near an existing line, such existing line shall
be dismantled unless it has been constructed and is thereafter maintained in accordance
with such of the rules, requirements and specifications issued from time to time by the
Canadian Standards Association and approved by the MOTI as are applicable thereto.
9. The line party shall at all times wholly indemnify the other party owning, operating or having control
over the railway across or along which, or the other line across or near which, the line party’s line is
constructed, from and against all loss, cost, damage, injury and expense to which that other party
may be put by reason of any damage or injury to persons or property caused by the construction,
maintenance or operating of the line party’s line or any work herein provided for by the terms and
provisions of the Guidelines, as well as against any damage or injury resulting from the
imprudence, neglect or want of skill of the employees or agents of the line party in connection with
the construction, maintenance or operation of the line party’s line, unless the cause of such loss,
cost, damage, injury or expense can be traced elsewhere.
10. Any dispute between the parties as to the manner in which a line is to be constructed or maintained
may be referred by either of them to the Railway Safety Manager of BCSA, whose decision is
subject to appeal to the MOTI.
11. Two or more lines shall not be constructed in the same or approximately the same vertical plane,
but joint use of poles as provided for by federal Joint Use of Poles Regulations or any other order
of the MOTI is permitted.
12. The line party shall, as soon as possible and immediately after its head office has received
information of the occurrence upon railway lands along or across which its line is constructed of
any accident involving its line attended with personal injury to any person using the railway, or to
any employee of the railway company, or which causes loss or damage to the railway company,
give notice thereof by telegraph, with full particulars, to the MOTI.
13. Nothing in these Guidelines shall prejudice or detract from the right of a company owning,
operating or using a railway to adopt at any time the use of electric or other motive power, and to
construct and maintain along or across its right-of-way such lines as may be necessary or proper
for such purpose; the cost of any removal, change in location or construction of any other line
rendered necessary by any of the matters referred to in this paragraph shall be borne by such of
the parties and in such proportion as the MOTI upon the application of any party interested, may
14. Nothing herein shall deprive any party of any remedy or right of action which such party would
otherwise have against any other party for loss or damage resulting from the construction,
maintenance or operation of any railway or line.
15. For the purpose of these Guidelines, Canadian Standards Association Standard C22.3 No. 1-1970
pertaining to Overhead Systems and Underground Systems, being part of the Canadian Electrical
Code, Part III, containing rules, requirements and specifications relating to the construction of
(a) supply lines and trolley lines along or across railways, and
(b) communication lines along or across railways.