The government of Canada will contribute CA$20.7 million (US$15.9 million) to 105 projects and initiatives aimed at improving rail safety.
“The Rail Safety Improvement Program is an important part of Transport Canada’s comprehensive approach to improving the safety of rail transportation across Canada. In funding these projects, we are reinforcing our commitment to enhance rail safety in urban and rural areas,” said Member of Parliament for Ottawa South David McGuinty.
The funding is made possible through the Rail Safety Improvement Program, which builds on three previous rail safety programs with an increased overall funding level, an expanded list of eligible recipients and a broadened scope of projects that can be funded to enhance rail safety.
The funds are broken into two categories. One is public education and awareness, which the government says builds on the success of programs, such as Operation Lifesaver. Two projects were selected to receive funds in this category and include CA$400,000 (US$307,794) to the Canadian Owner-Operators’ Cooperative over two years to implement an outreach project targeting professional truck and bus drivers and aimed at reducing the number of deaths from accidents between commercial vehicles and trains. The second project will provide CA$200,000 (US$ 153,897) to VIA Rail Canada Inc. towards a one-year awareness project aimed at suicide prevention.
The second category focuses on infrastructure, technology and research. The government says this category supports a wide range of eligible safety improvements, including improved lighting, upgraded rail crossing signals, pedestrian overpasses and research into new safety technologies. There were 103 projects to receive funding under this category, including 98 grade-crossing improvements and five technology and research projects. The improvements will occur across seven provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.