Railway Right of Way Environmental and Safety Transformation

Year: 2018

Number: 21-18M

Department: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

Midterm: Yes

WHEREAS conditions of the right of ways of railways have not been maintained, causing safety and environmental issues;

WHEREAS fire guards have been neglected and are no longer effective. They are overgrown with vegetation and have hazardous materials including, but not limited to: old creosote railroad ties, metal rails, railroad spikes, old fence posts, and wire. Tracking grinding and carbon fiber flakes from the engines continue to cause fires. There is no safe passage or access during an emergency such as a fire;

WHEREAS the railway right of ways have vegetation containing invasive plant species that appear to have originated at the said railway right of way and continue to spread throughout municipalities;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, and Transport Canada to develop a safety policy to address the fire hazard, environmental clean up and control of invasive plant species along railways;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the railways be responsible for clean up of their right of ways and for costs incurred by municipalities for fire fighting and weed control on and originating from said right of ways.

View response from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

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Sep. 5, 2019