Rail Crossing Maintenance

Year: 2017

Number: 4-17M

Department: Matters Pertaining to SARM

Midterm: Yes

WHEREAS rural municipalities are responsible for maintaining roads up to CN and CP tracks within their municipalities;

WHEREAS many collisions resulting in injuries or casualties occur between motor graders and trains;

WHEREAS operator safety is and should be number one priority;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM work with all railroads to promote safety, and lobby for a dust free and maintenance free surface 30 feet on either side of all railroad tracks. 

Response from SARM Board of Directors- January 17, 2019

SARM has reached out to CP and CN to discuss this conversation. The Infrastructure & Development Committee was able to secure a meeting with CP to discuss this resolution. SARM has also consulted with Transport Canada to confirm who is responsible for which portions of a rail crossing.

The railway is responsible for the crossing surface, other than its design. The crossing surface refers to the part of the road that lies between the ends of a railway tie and that has width of 0.5 m (18 inches), as shown in Figures 5-1 and 3-1 of the Grade Crossing Standards. The railway is responsible for the maintenance of the crossing surface between the set of rails (for each track) from between the length of the ties to 0.5m or more beyond the shoulder (if there is one), or 0.5m or more beyond the edge of the Travelled Way if there is no shoulder.

The road authority is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the road approach and the design of the crossing surface. The road approach refers to the part of the road, other than the crossing surface, that lies between the point that marks the start of the stopping sight distance and the point that marks the front of a design vehicle when it is past the clearance point. This can be seen in Figure 10-1 of the Grade Crossing Standards.

For multi-track crossings the road authority is responsible for the area between the sets of tracks from the end of the ties to 0.5m or more beyond the shoulder (if there is one), or 0.5m or more beyond the edge of the Travelled Way if there is no shoulder. This area is treated as part of the road approach.

Therefore, the surface 30 feet on either side of railroad tracks is not the responsibility of the railway.

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Sep. 5, 2019