Grounds Worker Railway Track Safety and Controls 

February 16, 2024

Canada’s history and growth is deeply rooted in rail construction from coast to coast. Rail tracks are federally controlled infrastructure that weave their way through many communities that have been settled near or around these rails. At times, recreation staff may need to work near rail infrastructure and require guidance with regards to what is acceptable based on strict legislation.

Transport Canada sets out the overall track safety rules framework.  According to the framework, each individual railway company is essentially responsible to establish maintenance related standards and procedures which often outline more detailed information such as safe clearances from tracks, etc. This is more straightforward if the work location in question is a known property such as a yard operated by a CN or CP.  However, it becomes less clear for locations such as community railway crossings or rail corridor areas.

The Railway Association of Canada may also be a helpful resource as they have many links to related Railway Rules and Standards.

Work on any rail system may only be performed by the rail company approved staff. Grounds operational staff should advise frontline workers of this restriction and keep the rail owners maintenance reporting contact information on hand and up to date.