Minister Garneau marks Rail Safety Week with new funding for railway crossing improvements - Improving safety for Canadians at rail crossings across the country

TORONTO, April 27, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today marked Rail Safety Week by announcing new funding for railway crossing improvements. This year, Transport Canada will provide more than $10.9 million to upgrade over 400 railway crossings across the country through its Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP). Under the GCIP, eligible railway crossings are upgraded based on factors such as traffic volume and accident history.

Transport Canada also provides funding through its Grade Crossing Closure Program (GCCP) to encourage the closure of certain grade crossings that are under federal jurisdiction. This year, under the GCCP, Transport Canada is providing $125,000 in funding to close seven crossings, in addition to $50,000 approved last year to close seven crossings.

Later today, Minister Garneau will address the Economic Club of Canada, where he will discuss the future of Canada's transportation system. He will also discuss how Budget 2016 investments, including funding of $143 million over three years to enhance rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods, will help protect communities and build a safer, more efficient and sustainable transportation system.

Following his Economic Club speech, Minister Garneau will also participate in a Town Hall meeting on rail safety. The Town Hall is being hosted by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade and Member of Parliament for University–Rosedale and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Toronto–St. Paul's, and will bring together rail and community stakeholders.

Quote

"A safe and secure national rail transportation system is important to local communities and to Canada's economic well-being. Budget 2016 provides $143 million over the next three years to address railway safety. Through the Grade Crossing Improvement Program, the Government of Canada is helping to enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists at over 400 railway crossings across the country."
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • Rail Safety Week, taking place this year from April 25 to May 1, is a national celebration aimed at increasing awareness of safety around railway operations and highlighting government's and industry's commitment to making the rail system safer for Canadians.
  • Since 1980, the number of crossing collisions in Canada has fallen dramatically from over 800 per year to 164 in 2015. However, there still remains unnecessary loss of life and injury with 47 fatalities and 36 serious injuries occurring in 2015 as a result of crossing collisions and trespassing on rail property.
  • The Government of Canada also supports other initiatives to improve safety at railway crossings, such as Operation Lifesaver – a national public education program whose goal is to reduce the needless loss of life, injuries and damages caused by highway/railway crossing collisions and train/pedestrian incidents. Transport Canada provides Operation Lifesaver with $300,000 per year to support their safety outreach and education campaigns.

Related Products

  • Backgrounders: Grade Crossing Improvement Program and Grade Crossing Closure Program

Associated Links

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Backgrounder
Grade Crossing Improvement Program

Through the Government of Canada's Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP), contributions are available to road authorities and railway companies for safety improvements at public grade crossings that are under federal jurisdiction.

Transport Canada funds up to 50 per cent of safety enhancement costs (to a maximum of $550,000 per project) at many rail crossing locations across the country every year.

Some examples of eligible projects are:

  • installing flashing lights, bells and gates;
  • replacing incandescent lights with LEDs;
  • adding gates or extra lights to existing signal systems;
  • interconnecting crossing signals to nearby highway traffic signals;
  • modifying operating circuits within automated warning systems;
  • improving roadway alignment or grades; and
  • modifying nearby intersections and adding traffic control signals in some circumstances.

These sites are most often identified through:

  • an application from a road authority and/or railway company;
  • an inspection by a Transport Canada railway safety inspector, through regular monitoring or after an accident;
  • a recommendation following an accident, including any made by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada; or
  • a complaint concerning the safety of a crossing.

This year, Transport Canada is investing more than $10.9 million under the GCIP, to upgrade over 400 rail grade crossings across the country.

The majority of the projects involve the replacement of incandescent lights to light emitting diode (LED) signal modules which will greatly improve the safety of Canadian motorists and pedestrians by improving warning system visibility, and result in grade crossing warning systems that operate more efficiently.

 

Province

Number of Projects

Federal Contribution




British Columbia

12

$1,552,459.72

Alberta

107

$1,665,246.63

Saskatchewan

41

$1,643,392.46

Manitoba

53

$1,368,442.00

Ontario

93

$2,680,052.22

Quebec

100

$1,999,518.75

Total

406

$10,909,111.78

 

April, 2016

Backgrounder
Grade Crossing Closure Program

Through the Government of Canada's Grade Crossing Closure Program (GCCP), funding is available to encourage the closure of certain grade crossings that are under federal jurisdiction, in the interest of public safety.

The program provides a $20,000 grant for a public grade crossing and a $5,000 grant for a private grade crossing in exchange for the beneficiary (generally a road authority or private property owner) relinquishing their rights to the crossing and closing it.

In 2016-2017, Transport Canada will provide $125,000 in GCCP funding to close seven crossings.

 

Province

Number of Closures

Total Grant




Saskatchewan

1 (public crossing)

$20,000.00

Manitoba

2 (public crossing)

$40,000.00

Ontario

3 (public crossing)

$60,000.00

Quebec

1 (private crossing)

$5,000.00

Total

7

$125,000.00

 

In 2015-2016, Transport Canada approved $50,000 in GCCP funding to close seven crossings.

 

Province

Number of Closures

Total Grant




Manitoba

6 (5 private and 1 public crossing)

$45,000.00

Ontario

1 (private crossing)

$5,000.00

Total

7

$50,000.00

 

April, 2016

 

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information: Contacts: Delphine Denis, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055, media@tc.gc.ca


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