Railway Speed Limits Within Municipal Borders

Transportation and Communication


NCLGA Executive Recommendation: Endorse | Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships


WHEREAS rail traffic continues to increase throughout the Province of British Columbia;


AND WHEREAS current legislation permits rail traffic to regularly travel at unsafe speeds through municipalities:


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Transport Canada reduce rail speed limits within municipal borders.

Additional Information

UBCM Comments:The UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution requesting that Transport Canada reduce rail speed limits within municipal boundaries.


UBCM would note that on April 23 the federal Transport minister responded to the Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations in regard to Lac Megantic rail accident. Transport Canada will “require railway companies to reduce the speed of trains carrying dangerous goods and implement other key operating practices.”


Other related rail safety actions announced by Transport Canada include:


  • Issue a Protective Direction removing the least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars from dangerous goods service;
  • Require DOT-111 tank cars used to transport crude oil and ethanol that do not meet the standard published in January 2014 in Canada Gazette, Part I, or any other future standard, to be phased out or refitted within three years;
  • Issue a Protective Direction requiring Emergency Response Assistance Plans for crude oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and ethanol;
  • Create a task force that brings stakeholders such as municipalities, first responders, railways and shippers together to strengthen emergency response capacity across the country.


UBCM has recently joined the newly established BC Provincial Committee on Rail Safety Public Outreach. Comprising the railway industry, enforcement agencies, and all orders of government the Committee is working to promote rail safety and to reduce the number of highway/railway grade crossing collisions and trespassing incidents on railway property.