Railways

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Railway safety

Our Railway Safety Program regulates railways that operate solely within BC and have a certificate issued by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

When a railway car is moved on provincial land, it is subject to the Railway Act of British Columbia. Companies with operations that move railway equipment are required under provincial legislation to become certified railways. Failure to do so may lead to actions and penalties as described within the provincial railway legislation.

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Railway regulations

The Canadian rail system includes both federal and provincial railways. Railways that cross provincial boundaries are governed by federal legislation, while railways that operate strictly within the boundaries of the province are governed by provincial legislation.

The Railway Act provides authority for the establishment and statutory governance of railways operating solely within the province of British Columbia and falling under provincial jurisdiction, including common carrier, industrial, heritage, and commuter railways.

The Railway Safety Act (British Columbia) provides authority for British Columbia to adopt the technical regulations, rules, and standards of the Railway Safety Act (Canada). With the Railway Safety Adopted Provisions Regulation, British Columbia’s rail safety legislation is harmonized with federal legislation.

New grade crossing regulations

BC’s regulatory framework for railways has changed to adopt the same Grade Crossing Regulations and Standards that are in place federally. This means that road authorities and railways responsible for level grade crossings may need to perform upgrades to enhance public safety.

Railway Safety Program moves to risk auditing approach

This auditing approach, which we currently use in our oversight of other regulated technologies, emphasizes auditing of operators who have higher safety risk factors and histories of accidents or non-compliances with safety management systems, rules, or regulations.

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12 tips to ready your tracks for winter

Railway incidents are likely to increase during the winter months.Check out these tips to ensure that all hazards, including those caused by inclement weather, are properly managed for safe railway operations.

What are common non-compliances found in annual audits?

Recently, our Railway safety officers have noticed a few areas where railways are most commonly receiving non-compliances. Here we outline each area, and what is expected.

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Emerging risks

We audit certified railways to verify compliance with the training qualifications set out in their safety management system.

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