Rail recommendations

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is responsible for advancing transportation safety. One of the ways it does this is by making recommendations to federal departments and other organizations to eliminate or reduce safety deficiencies.

Under our Act, federal ministers must formally respond to TSB recommendations and explain how they have addressed or will address the safety deficiencies. Using an Assessment Rating Guide (which includes definitions for the status of recommendations), the Board evaluates the responses and their overall effectiveness. Each response is assessed as Fully Satisfactory, Satisfactory Intent, Satisfactory in Part or Unsatisfactory. Progress made to address TSB recommendations is assessed by the Board on an ongoing basis.

For recommendations and assessments made before January 1, 2005, please refer to our annual reports.

See the backgrounder on the 2011-12 reassessments of responses to the Board’s rail recommendations.

To read the full assessment of a recommendation, click on the assessment link.


Table of the TSB Recommendations providing the number of the recommendation, the recommendation itself, the report in which it was made, its current assessment, the progress that was achieved to act on this recommendation since it was last assessed, the status of the recommendation and a link to any Watchlist issue that the recommendation might relate to
Number Recommendation Source report Current assessment Status Watchlist
R14-03 The Department of Transport require emergency response assistance plans for the transportation of large volumes of liquid hydrocarbons. R13D0054 Fully Satisfactory Active  
R14-02 The Department of Transport set stringent criteria for the operation of trains carrying dangerous goods, and require railway companies to conduct route planning and analysis as well as perform periodic risk assessments to ensure that risk control measures work. R13D0054 Satisfactory Intent Active  
R14-01 The Department of Transport and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration require that all Class 111 tank cars used to transport flammable liquids meet enhanced protection standards that significantly reduce the risk of product loss when these cars are involved in accidents. R13D0054 Satisfactory in Part Active  
R13-03 The Department of Transport require that crashworthiness standards for new locomotives also apply to rebuilt passenger and freight locomotives. R12T0038 Satisfactory Intent Active  
R13-02 The Department of Transport require that all controlling locomotives in main line operation be equipped with in-cab video cameras. R12T0038 Satisfactory in Part Active  
R13-01 The Department of Transport require major Canadian passenger and freight railways implement physical fail-safe train controls, beginning with Canada's high-speed rail corridors. R12T0038 Satisfactory in Part Active  
R10-01 The Department of Transport, in conjunction with the railway industry and other North American regulators, establish a protocol for reporting and analyzing tank car stub sill failures so that unsafe cars are repaired or removed from service.  R09W0016 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R09-04 Transport Canada work with the provincial governments to expedite the implementation of a national standard for low ground clearance advance warning signs at railway crossings.  R08T0158 Satisfactory intent Active Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R09-03 Canadian National take effective action to identify and mitigate risks to safety as required by its safety management system, and the Department of Transport require Canadian National to do so.  R06V0136 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R09-02 Transport Canada implement standards to improve the visibility of emergency contact signage at railway crossings in Canada.  R07D0111 Satisfactory intent Active Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R09-01 Transport Canada conduct safety assessments of level crossings on the high-speed passenger rail Québec-Windsor corridor and ensure that defences are adequate to mitigate the risk of truck/train collisions.  R07D0111 Satisfactory intent Active Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R08-02 The Department of Transport ensure that railways adopt procedures and technologies to track all wheel sets.  R06T0022 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R08-01 The Department of Transport ensure that all 36-inch Canadian National Transcona wheel shop wheel sets assembled between April 1998 and February 2001 be removed from cars operating in Canada.  R06T0022 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R07-04 The Department of Transport extend the safety provisions of the construction standards applicable to 286 000-pound cars to all new non-pressurized tank cars carrying dangerous goods.  R04Q0040 Satisfactory intent Active  
R07-03 The Department of Transport and the railway industry conduct in-depth studies on the behaviour of saturated organic materials under cyclic loading.  R04Q0040 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R07-02 The Department of Transport establish standards requiring that rails approaching their fatigue limit be replaced.  R05E0059 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R07-01 The Department of Transport establish minimum standards for the quality and strength of maintenance rails.  R05E0059 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R06-02 The Department of Transport assess the risk to pedestrians at all multi-track main-line crossings, make its assessment public and implement a program, in conjunction with stakeholders, to mitigate the risk of second-train pedestrian accidents.  R05T0030 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R06-01 The Department of Transport work with the Railway Association of Canada to implement rail traffic control protocols and training that will recognize periods of high workload and make safety paramount.  R04T0008  Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R04-03 The Department of Transport, in consultation with other federal, provincial, and municipal agencies, implement consistent training requirements that ensure emergency first responders remain competent to respond to rail accidents involving dangerous goods.  R02W0063 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R04-02 The Department of Transport, in consultation with the provinces and the trucking industry, review and update, as necessary, educational and training material for drivers with respect to the risks associated with a heavy vehicle negotiating a public passive railway crossing.  R02W0063 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R04-01 Transport Canada encourage the railway companies to implement technologies and/or methods of train control to assure that in-train forces generated during emergency braking are consistent with safe train operation.  R01M0061 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R03-05 The Department of Transport incorporate in its compliance reviews a comparison of railway working procedures and practices with railway inspection and maintenance records.  R03V0083 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R03-04 CN verify the condition of its timber bridges and ensure their continued safety with effective inspection and maintenance programs.  R03V0083 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R03-03 The Department of Transport implement new grade crossing procedures without delay irrespective of the status of the proposed regulations.  R00T0257 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R03-02 The Department of Transport, in conjunction with the railway industry, establish comprehensive national standards for locomotive data recorders that include a requirement for an on-board cab voice recording interfaced with on-board communications systems.  R99T0017 Satisfactory in part Active Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R03-01 The Department of Transport, in co-operation with the industry, research the issue of continuous operation of UDE problematic trains and establish policies and procedures to resolve this issue.  R00H0004 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R02-04 Transport Canada ensure that the design specifications for locomotive event recorders include provisions regarding the survivability of data.  R99H0010 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R02-03 Transport Canada review the provisions of Schedule I and the requirements for emergency  plans to ensure that the transportation of liquid hydrocarbons is consistent with the risks posed to the public.  R99H0010 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R02-02 The Department of Transport, in conjunction with the tank car owners, review the existing inspection and maintenance program for thermal protection of tank cars already in service, and ensure that their thermal protection systems confer acceptable thermal resistance to reduce the risk of the premature release of dangerous goods in a fire.  R99T0256 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R02-01 The Department of Transport review the classification and safety marks for anhydrous ammonia to ensure that it is in a class and division consistent with the risks it poses to the public.  R99T0256 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R01-07 The Department of Transport, in cooperation with Canadian National, comprehensively examine all private and farm crossings on the Kingston Subdivision with a view to closing or consolidating crossings, and where identified as necessary, upgrade those remaining to lessen the safety risk.  R99T0298 Fully satisfactory Inactive Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R01-06 The Department of Transport's new regulations include horizontal alignment standards for approaches to private and farm crossings.  R99T0298 Fully satisfactory Inactive Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R01-05 The Department of Transport expedite the promulgation of new grade crossing regulations.  R99T0298 Satisfactory intent Active Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R01-04 The Department of Transport and the Railway Association of Canada ensure that maintenance standards and practices address the level of risks in heavy tonnage "other than main tracks".  R98T0292 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R01-03 The Department of Transport review the current regulatory framework and industry policy to help ensure that an adequate level of safety is maintained regarding the storage of dangerous goods within the rail transportation system and during the transition of shipments of dangerous goods to or from the rail transportation system.  R99H0007 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R01-02 The Department of Transport, the Railway Association of Canada and provincial authorities responsible for train operation review the system design specifications for computer-assisted and non-computer-assisted Occupancy Control System in Canada to ensure all components of these systems are designed with sufficient regard to human error.  R99H0007 Satisfactory in part Inactive  
R01-01 The Department of Transport require the development of additional permanent system defences that permit a means to help ensure safety when trains approach main track switches in Occupancy Control System outside Automatic Block Signal System territory.  R99H0007 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R00-05 The Department of Transport assess the impact of noise on voice communication in locomotive cabs and ensure that crew members can effectively communicate safety-critical information.  R98V0148 Satisfactory in part Inactive Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R00-04 The Department of Transport and the railway industry implement additional backup safety defences to help ensure that signal indications are consistently recognized and followed.  R98V0148 Satisfactory In part Active Watchlist flag

Watchlist

R00-03 The Department of Transport ensure that an assessment is made of the suitability of current Canadian Rail Operating Rules and railway instructions concerning the immediate reporting of operating delays to all concerned when there is a safety risk.  R98C0022 Fully Satisfactory Inactive  
R00-02 The Department of Transport ensure that an assessment is made of the technologies designed for the safe separation of railway rolling stock movements, with the intent of establishing a minimum safety standard.  R98C0022 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R00-01 A system-wide assessment of Canadian National's track and turnout inspection reporting and supervisory review procedures be conducted by either Transport Canada or the railway.  R98T0042 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R98-02 The Department of Transport assess the trailer securement system and related safety inspections of the Iron Highway to ensure that the risks associated with the securement of highway trailers are appropriately addressed.  R97H0008 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R97-06 The Depatment of Transport develop and implement policies and procedures for a national audit program that will effectively evaluate the railways' ability to maintain national safety standards.  R96C0172 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R96-14 The Department of Transport, in cooperation with the railways, the provincial and local authorities, implement, on a priority basis, a program to upgrade the pedestrian protection systems on those multiple-track mainline crossings in populated areas warranting immediate attention.  R95D0055 Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R96-12 The Department of Transport re-assess the risk associated with operating cabooseless trains without an illuminated rear marker.  R94T0334 Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R96-05 The Department of Transport assess the design of the current passenger locomotive fuel tanks and require, in the short term, that measures be taken to improve their crashworthiness, including limiting fuel spillage.  R12T0038, R13W0124 Satisfactory Intent Active  
R95-02 The Deparment of Transport review the application of CROR Rule 105 with a view to ensuring that an appropriate safety factor is maintained with opposing movements.  R93C0103 Satisfactory in part  Dormant  
R94-03 The Ontario Minister of Transportation ensure that passenger coaches on the Ontario Northland Railway have adequate means for securing baggage in overhead racks or bins.  R91H0026* Satisfactory in part Inactive  
R93-11 The Department of Transport coordinate with the appropriate provincial authorities to require that tank trucks placarded for the transport of dangerous goods stop at all public crossings before proceeding.  R91E0072* Satisfactory in part Active  
R93-03 The Department of Transport ensure that federally regulated railways are correctly applying appropriate standards for destressing continuous welded rail.  R90C0092* Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R93-01 The Department of Transport reassess the adequacy of current Canadian railway procedures and equipment for main track rail testing for: a identifying rail defects on curved track, and b identifying vertical split head defects.  R92W0240*, R93T0033*, R93C0020* Fully satisfactory Inactive  
R92-23 The Department of Transport reassess the adequacy of Canadian railway requirements for main line rail testing, taking into account the age of the rail and the nature of the traffic.  R90C0124* Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R92-22 The Department of Transport review the adequacy of current railway practices with respect to timely corrective action when rail head wear exceeds specified wear limits.  R90C0124* Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R92-07 The Department of Transport coordinate the necessary protocols with the AAR and Canadian railways to effect cost recovery by carrying railways which take corrective action to replace components which exceed specified condemning limits for combination truck component wear on leased cars in service.   Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R92-06 The Department of Transport prescribe condemning limits for combination truck component wear for all leased carss in service on federally regulated railways.   Fully satisfactory  Inactive  
R91-01 The Department of Transport establish minimum standards for the type, location and requirement for fencing along railway right-of-way approaching railway bridges and any other areas where frequent pedestrian incursions are known.  R91H0524* Satisfactory intent  Active  

*These older reports are not available on the website. For more information, contact us.