New grade crossing regulations and updates to BC’s rail legislation
Recently, to enhance public safety, amendments were made to BC’s regulatory framework for railways to adopt the same Grade Crossing Regulations and Standards that are in place federally. The changes include the following:
- Grade crossings requirements: The most recent version of the Grade Crossing Regulations was adopted under the Adopted Provisions Regulation, amending safety standards for railway crossings in BC.
- Monetary dispute resolution: Amendments were made in the Adopted Provisions Regulation and Administration Delegation Regulation, clarifying that monetary disputes between railway companies and road authorities will go to the Canada Transportation Authority for resolution.
- Railway Safety Act (Canada), Canada Transportation Act, & Transportation Safety Board Regulations: The most recent versions are now referenced in the Adopted Provisions Regulation, with minor amendments for clarification.
Action for level grade crossings
Level grade crossings are areas where train tracks intersect with roads or walkways. Some of these areas in BC do not have the latest standards for bells, lights, cross bucks, gates, or other warning signals that allow pedestrians and vehicles to avoid collisions with oncoming trains.
The new regulations impact existing level grade crossings that may need to undergo upgrades, including improving sightlines or introducing more safety measures such as automated lights and gates.
These upgrades must be completed within seven years to comply with new regulations. Any new crossings must be approved and built to these new standards. Railways and road authorities with level grade crossings must share information related to crossings, as outlined in the Grade Crossing Regulation, by January 1, 2022.
Need more information?
Attend an online information session about the level grade crossings regulation changes. Register here.
You can also contact Technical Safety BC’s rail team for more information.