Letter Decision No. LET-R-60-2021

November 12, 2021

Preliminary application from Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) under section 98 of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) to construct a railway bypass around the downtown of the City of Lac-Mégantic

Case number: 


On October 1, 2021, CP filed a preliminary application under section 98 of the CTA on behalf of its subsidiary Central Maine and Quebec Railway Canada Inc. In its application, CP requests that the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) approve the construction of a railway bypass around the downtown of Lac-Mégantic (the proposed railway line).

Before constructing a railway line, a railway company must apply for, and obtain, the Agency’s approval under section 98 of the CTA. The railway company bears the onus of providing the required information in enough detail, with supporting evidence, to enable the Agency to fully assess the application. To assist the railway company in meeting its burden, the Agency has produced the Guide to Railway Line Construction, which describes the information a railway company is required to include in a section 98 application. The Agency may also require additional information based on the specific facts of each case.

In the interests of efficiency and to assist the railway company in completing its application, the Agency has reviewed CP’s preliminary application and identified information that CP will need to file to complete its application, as follows:


Number of Private Crossings

Five private crossings are contemplated in CP’s preliminary application and the overview plan included in the preliminary application shows that many properties will be subdivided by the proposed railway line. CP will need to explain the difference between the number of private crossings contemplated in its application and the number of properties that will be divided by the proposed railway line.

Plan Details

While CP’s overview plan illustrates adjacent residences, the plan does not contain the following required information: existing and future land use and zoning; adjacent property owners’ names and property lines; and sensitive receptors.


More details are required concerning infrastructure and ground alterations, operations planned for the route, and proposed construction activities and schedules.

In addition, final versions of the following documents referred to in the preliminary application will have to be filed:  

  • Layout Drawing Package
  • Track and Structures Package
  • Crossings and Utilities Package
  • Noise and Vibration Report
  • Site Drainage Report
  • Infrastructure Design Report
  • Culvert Report
  • Facility Operations Report
  • Construction Plan
  • Stakeholder Engagement Report
  • Traffic and Transportation Impact Report
  • Environmental Effects Evaluation
  • Risk Assessment Report


To complete its application, CP must file additional information about the interests of localities, including any studies and commitments prepared to address concerns raised, as well as information about any outstanding issues requiring further study.

CP will need to: (1) inform people in the affected localities that it intends to construct the proposed railway line, and provide them with all available public documentation related to this project; (2) conduct a meaningful engagement activity (at a minimum, an online public consultation of no less than two weeks); and (3) compile the results of the consultation, including its responses, and identify any commitments necessary to address concerns raised during the consultation.


The Agency requests that CP provide its explanation of the difference between the number of private crossings contemplated in its preliminary application and the number of properties that will be divided by the proposed railway lines in advance of any public engagement activity to be conducted before the application is completed.


France Pégeot
Elizabeth C. Barker
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