OTTAWA, April 23, 2015 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Minister Raitt, Minister of Transport, issued an Emergency Directive to railway companies concerning the safe and secure transportation of dangerous goods.

Companies must slow their trains to a maximum of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometres per hour) when travelling in highly urbanized areas. The Emergency Directive also requires increased inspections and risk assessments along key routes used for the transportation of dangerous goods, including crude oil and ethanol. The Emergency Directive remains in place until August 17, 2015.

Transport Canada continues to explore all measures that will further improve the safety of the Canadian railway system.

Quick Facts

  • An Emergency Directive is the most efficient way to immediately address important safety enhancements and require railway companies to make operational changes quickly.
  • Canada’s two largest railway operators—CN and CP—have already restricted their train speeds to a maximum of 35 mph in highly urbanized areas.
  • Under the authority of the Railway Safety Act, if the Minister is of the opinion that an immediate threat to safe railway operations exists, the Minister may issue an Emergency Directive ordering a railway company to stop the unsafe activity or take specific action to address the threat.


“Transport Canada continues to take strong action to safeguard Canadians that live along our rail corridors. The Emergency Directive issued today serves as yet another measure to ensure railway companies transport dangerous goods safely and securely.”
Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport