Transport Canada has announced that the revised Rules Respecting Key Trains and Key Routes, under the Railway Safety Act, have been approved and now:
- require railway companies to develop a winter operation plan that is specific to each subdivision where higher risk key trains operate, which must be approved by a professional engineer;
- require use of new technology to detect a broken rail in areas where it is not currently present;
- strengthen track inspection (increased frequency and improved quality) and track maintenance requirements (i.e., ultrasonically testing replacement rail and improved record-keeping); and,
- define a ‘higher risk key train’ as a train carrying large quantities of crude oil or liquid petroleum gases and prescribe speed restrictions for these trains.