Transfer and discontinuance of railway lines

How to transfer or discontinue a railway line

Under Part III, Division V of the Canada Transportation Act, a federal railway company must take these steps before transferring or discontinuing operations:

  1. provide notice in the company’s three-year plan for at least 12 months of its intention to discontinue operating the line;
  2. publicly advertise the railway line’s availability or any operating interest that the railway company has in the line;
  3. negotiate with interested parties; 
  4. offer to transfer all of its interest in the railway line to the applicable federal provincial and municipal governments and urban transit authorities; and
  5. notify the Agency if the line will be discontinued.

Learn more about how to transfer or discontinue railway line operations.

How the Agency can help

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; and
  • ensuring that the railway company and an interested party negotiate in good faith.

Find out how to file an application.

The Agency may also make a determination about the net salvage value of a rail line if a government and railway company can’t agree. To learn more, read Guidelines Respecting Net Salvage Value Applications.

Notices of discontinuance

For more information, see the complete list of notices of discontinuance received by the Agency.

Latest notices of discontinuance

Effective Date Railway From To Mileage From Mileage To Total Mileage Province(s)
2022-11-23 CP Van Horne Spur End of track 0.08 0.55 0.47 British Columbia
2022-05-02 CP Transcona Lead Transcona Lead 2.40 2.80 0.40 Manitoba
2022-02-14 CP LaSalle End of track 0.20 3.80 3.60 Quebec
Date modified: