January 1, 2014: (EO) Transport Canada Issues Emergency Directive

Emergency Directive Pursuant to Section 33 of the Railway Safety Act

Safety and Security of locomotives in Canada

To:  Companies Listed at the bottom of this posting or on Transport Canada's Website at http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/recommandations-recommendations/rail/2014/rec-r1404.asp

Section 33 of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) gives the Minister of Transport the authority to issue an emergency directive to any company when the Minister is of the opinion that there is an immediate threat to safe railway operations or the security of railway transportation.

On July 23, 2013 following the tragic events in Lac-Mégantic, an emergency directive was issued to all railway companies and all local railway companies. On the same day, an order was issued under section 19 of the Railway Safety Act, requiring those same companies to formulate rules respecting the subject matters covered by the emergency directive.

Given that no rule has yet been approved or established under section 19 for the companies listed in Appendix A, and in the interest of ensuring the continued safety and security of railway transportation, I am of the opinion that there remains an immediate need to clarify the regime respecting unattended locomotives on main track and sidings and the transportation of dangerous goods in tank cars using a one person crew to address any threat to the safety and security of railway operations.

Therefore, pursuant to section 33 of the RSA, the companies listed in Appendix A are hereby ordered to:

  1. Ensure that all unattended controlling locomotives on main track and sidings are protected from unauthorized entry into the cab of the locomotives;

  2. Ensure that reversers are removed from any unattended locomotive on main track or sidings.  During sub-zero temperatures, this item does not apply to locomotives that do not have a high idle feature;

  3. Ensure that their company&rsquos’ special instructions on hand brakes referred to in Rule 112 of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules is applied when any locomotive coupled with one or more cars is left unattended for more than one hour on main track or sidings;

  4. Ensure, when any locomotive coupled with one or more cars is left unattended for one hour or less on main track or sidings, that in addition to complying with their company&rsquos’ special instructions on hand brakes referred to in item 3 above, the locomotives have the automatic brake set in full service position and have the independent brake fully applied;

  5. Ensure that no locomotive coupled with one or more loaded tank cars transporting “dangerous goods” as this expression is defined in section 2 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDGA)  is left unattended on main track; and

  6. Ensure that no locomotive coupled with one or more loaded tank cars transporting “dangerous goods” as this expression is defined in section 2 of the TDGA is operated on main track or sidings with fewer than two persons qualified under their company&rsquos’ requirements for operating employees.

For the purpose of this emergency directive an “unattended locomotive” or a “locomotive coupled with one or more cars that is left unattended” means that it is not in the immediate physical control or supervision of a qualified person acting for the company operating the locomotive or car(s) in the case of items 3 and 4 above or a person acting for the company operating the locomotive or car(s) in the case of items 1, 2 and 5 above.

For the purpose of this emergency directive, “main track” and “sidings” do not include main track or sidings in yards and terminals.

For greater certainty, nothing in this emergency directive relieves a company of the obligation to comply with Rule 112 of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules.

Pursuant to section 33 of the RSA, this emergency directive will take effect on January 1, 2014 and will remain in effect until July 1, 2014.

Companies affected:

Boundary Trail Railway
Canpotex (Rail Serve)
Chemin de fer Roberval Saguenay (Rio Tinto Alcan)
Compagnie du Chemin de fer Québec Central
Corporation du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie
Essar Steel Algoma
International Bridge and Terminal Company
Lake Line Railway Company
Minnesota, Dakota & Western Railway Company
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd.
Northwood Pulp
Orford Express
Port Stanley Terminal Railway Incorporated
RailServe
Rio Tinto Alcan
Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society
Southern Rails Cooperative Ltd.
Stewart Southern Railway
Thunder Rail Ltd. (Arborfield)
Torch River Rail Inc.
Train touristique de Charlevoix
West Coast Railway Museum
Union Pacific Railway Company
York-Durham Heritage Railway Association
White Pass and Yukon Route

Author: Wendy Buckley

Wendy has been in the hazardous materials industry for over 17 years. She worked for both the Federal Railroad Administration and New Jersey State Department of Transportation as a Railroad Hazardous Materials Safety Inspector. Wendy was an Investigator with the Office of Inspector General at Amtrak, a Multi-Modal HazMat Instructor and Auditor with a premier training and consulting company, and managed the Regulatory Affairs department at a multi-billion dollar, multi-national laboratory supply company. Wendy started her career as a Hazardous Materials Technician and Firefighter and today she is the President & Founder of Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services, a hazardous materials and hazardous waste management consulting firm. Wendy has multiple degrees from several private and public Universities.