Applications: transfer and discontinuance of railway lines

How can the Agency help?

The Agency can help interested parties, railway companies, governments or other parties in four areas related to the transfer and discontinuance process outlined in Part III, Division V of the Canada Transportation Act.

Upon application by a party, the Agency can assist by:

  • determining whether a particular trackage is subject to the transfer and discontinuance process;
  • ensuring compliance with the transfer and discontinuance process;
  • ensuring that the railway company and the interested party negotiate in good faith; and
  • making a determination about the net salvage value of a rail line if a government and railway company can’t agree. 

If the procedures outlined in the Act are followed and no party, including any level of government, was interested in acquiring the line, the railway company would be free to cease operations and dispose of the assets as it wishes.

Railway track determinations

The railway line transfer and discontinuance process applies to all railway lines held by federal railway companies. Within this process, a railway line excludes yard trackage, sidings, spurs or other track auxiliary to a railway line.

The Agency can determine whether a particular trackage constitutes a line of railway and therefore is subject to the statutory transfer or discontinuance process.

Net salvage value determinations

The Agency can be called upon to determine the net salvage value of the relevant railway assets, with a view to facilitating their orderly transfer.

The requirements for filing an application are described in Part 2 of the Guidelines Respecting Net Salvage Value Applications.

How to file an application

If you wish to apply to the Agency, please submit your written, signed application to the Agency Secretariat.

In addition, you should send a copy of the application to each of the parties involved.