Railway Crossing Maintenance
Res #: 19-10A
Responses Received: No
WHEREAS it has become apparent that some short line railways are requesting legislation be introduced which would make the road authority responsible for 100% of the cost of maintaining and/or repairing “public” railway crossings;
WHEREAS it is the responsibility of the railway owner/operator to ensure that the track and crossings remain in a safe state of repair and to provide for any necessary work to be done to those structures;
WHEREAS the road authority has no control over the operation of the track and further retains no ownership in any portion of the track or crossings; and
WHEREAS some road authorities have fair and equitable arrangements in effect for their individual situation regarding crossing maintenance and/or repair with their local short line;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM support negotiated agreements between road authorities and provincial railways to determine their respective share of costs to repair and/or maintain railway crossings.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that disagreements between the road authority and the railway be settled through negotiation, and should negotiations fail, by non-partisan arbitration.
Response from Honourable Jim Reiter, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure:
The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure is pleased with the passing of Resolution No. 19-10A which states that SARM will support negotiated agreements between road authorities and provincial railways to determine crossing cost-sharing agreements and resolve any disputes through non-partisan arbitration. The Ministry believes this Resolution fits very well with the existing provincial policy and framework regarding provincial railway crossing issues.
The Province supports the creation of mutually acceptable crossing cost apportionment agreements between provincially regulated railways and road authorities. Parties are encouraged to utilize and adhere to the provincial railway guidelines and work towards reaching mutually acceptable agreements on crossing cost apportionment. Furthermore, the Province believes the crossing cost apportionment dispute resolution process offered by the Highway Traffic Board provides a necessary non-partisan arbitration mechanism, should voluntary negotiations fail.