Canada to invest $79.77m to upgrade railway safety

The Government of Canada is set to invest more than $79.77m (C$100m) to improve the safety and security of the country’s railway system.

The funding will be allocated over five years, starting in 2021-2022, to Transport Canada to support safe passenger and freight transportation by rail.

Transport Canada will use the funding for a variety of initiatives, which will include investing in railway oversight for addressing new and evolving safety risks.

This will include the development of new approaches to enhance railway safety data collection and analysis, legislation updates, as well as safer transportation of dangerous goods.

The investment will also help the department to conduct research and analysis aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather conditions on the railway infrastructure.

A part of the funding will also be utilised under the ongoing Rail Safety Improvement Programme.

Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said: “Today’s announcement will strengthen the safety and security of our rail system, protecting communities who use, live near, and work on our railways.

“These investments are important to ensure that Canada’s rail system continues getting people and goods to their destinations safely and securely, for now and the future.”

Transport Canada oversees railway firms for compliance with rules, regulations, and standards stated under the Railway Safety Act.

Every year, the department carries out more than 35,000 inspections as part of its oversight activities.

Last month, the Government of Canada issued certain restrictions on rail transport for areas facing high wildfire risks.

The move came after a blaze destroyed the town of Lytton, British Columbia, amid record-high temperatures.

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