Rail transportation consultation

Draft Regulations were published in Canada Gazette March 30.

As part of its Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) held consultations on rail-related regulations and guidance materials. These consultations also support the implementation of the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49), which amends the Canada Transportation Act (the Act) to introduce new measures related to freight rail.

The CTA consultation focused on the following key issues:

  • Amendments to the Railway Interswitching Regulations
  • Administrative monetary penalties
  • Insurance filing for freight rail operations
  • Insurance requirements for passenger rail operations and railway construction
  • Guidance materials on shipper remedies and recovery of costs related to a railway fire

The CTA also sough views on whether all of its rail-related regulations should be consolidated into a single regulation, for ease of reference.

The regulations are not yet final or in effect. The proposed regulations are now published in Part I of the Canada Gazette for a 30-day comment period. This is your last opportunity to provide feedback. You can review the draft regulations in the Canada Gazette and provide your input to the CTA at ferroviaire-rail@otc-cta.gc.ca until April 29, 2019.

The CTA will review all comments received following the pre-publication of the proposed regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette, and may propose adjustments based on this feedback. Once approved, the final regulations will be published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. The regulations are expected to come into force by summer 2019.

Reference materials


Within the framework of the Act, the CTA is responsible for the economic regulation of railway companies under federal jurisdiction.

Based on the suite of rail-related provisions in the Act, the CTA administers and enforces a range of requirements and remedies including:

  • Providing certificates of fitness to operate railways, issuing authorizations to build railway lines, and overseeing the rail line discontinuance process;
  • Resolving disputes between railway companies on the one hand, and shippers, residents, municipalities, provinces, and other railway companies on the other;
  • Conducting costing exercises and setting interswitching rates; and,
  • Providing information.
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