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Railway Occurrence Reporting Guidelines


Railway Occurrence Reporting Guidelines

November 29, 2017


Reference Number:


All railway occurrences, including contraventions of Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR) or internal operating policies, must be reported to Technical Safety BC, as per the Administrative Agreement Protocol between Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and Technical Safety BC. Each provincially certified railway must include the following reference to Technical Safety BC’s reporting process within its Safety Management System (SMS):

“In the event of a railway occurrence, [name of railway] will follow the Railway Occurrence Reporting Guidelines set out by Technical Safety BC, beginning by reporting the occurrence to Technical Safety BC’s dedicated Occurrence Reporting Line (1 866 566 7233).”

The following guideline explains how to notify Technical Safety BC of an occurrence, how and when to file occurrence reports, what to include in your reports, and what you can expect from Technical Safety BC in response.

Any railway client that seeks a variation to this guideline must make a request in writing detailing the variation sought and rationale for the deviation to Technical Safety BC. Once approved by Technical Safety BC, the variation must be referenced within the reporting section of their SMS in order to be considered in effect.

For further information, please refer to the Railway Safety Act, Transportation Safety Board Regulations, and the Railway Safety Adopted Provisions Regulation.

Who should report a railway occurrence?

The officer with overall reporting responsibility, as per the SMS, with knowledge of the occurrence should initiate the reporting procedure, as described below.

Railway Occurrence Reporting Procedure

Step 1: Report by Phone

Report the occurrence by phone to Technical Safety BC as soon as possible by calling the dedicated Accident/Incident Report Line at 1 866 566 7233.

Be prepared to provide as much information about the incident as you can, including:

  • Date, time, and location of the occurrence (be as specific as possible);
  • Names of the certified railway, track operator, and crew members;
  • Train or equipment number and direction of travel;
  • Description of the occurrence including the extent of any damage and the number of injuries or fatalities (if applicable);
  • Any dangerous goods contained in or released from the rolling stock;
  • Any action already taken, such as calling for local emergency services or wreck-clearing equipment;
  • Name, location, title, and contact information of the person making the report.

You will receive a call-back from a safety officer to further discuss the details of the occurrence.

Step 2: Submit Part A

Immediately, and within 24 hours, complete and submit Part A: Initial Railway Accident/Incident Report Form. The purpose of this report is to capture as many details as possible about the occurrence, so the form will ask you to supply descriptive information similar to what you provided in your phone report. You will also have the opportunity to attach any photos or supporting documents.

You may be subject to further inspection or investigation at the discretion of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Step 3: Submit Part B

Within 30 days of the occurrence, complete and submit Part B: Final Investigation Railway Accident/Incident Report Form.  This report is intended to be completed once the circumstances surrounding the occurrence are more fully understood and the investigation is complete. The form will ask you to describe the cause and contributing factors of the occurrence, as well as any corrective actions taken as a result.

Follow-Up Actions

Once Part B has been submitted, Technical Safety BC will perform a detailed review of your occurrence reports (Part A and Part B) and any corrective actions planned or taken.

If Technical Safety BC is satisfied that the reported corrective actions are adequate and comply with safety standards, you will receive a close-out notice via email. Otherwise, you can expect further instructions from a safety officer.


If you have any questions about these guidelines, the reporting procedure, or the Part A and Part B reporting forms, please email us.

These guidelines will be reviewed by Technical Safety BC and relevant stakeholders on an annual basis.