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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Advisory council study concludes Canadian railroads should voluntarily install locomotive recording devices


Canadian Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Denis Lebel on Friday released a study on locomotive voice and video recorders (LVRs) that concluded railroads should voluntarily install LRV devices on locomotives.

The Advisory Council on Rail Safety's Working Group, which includes representatives from railroads, unions and Transport Canada, undertook the study at the request of Lebel following a VIA Rail Canada Inc. derailment in Burlington, Ontario, in February 2012. VIA Rail has pledged to install voice recorders on all its locomotives, Lebel said in a press release.

"We applaud VIA Rail's commitment to voluntarily install voice recorders on all their trains, and we strongly encourage other rail operators to consider doing the same," he said.

Lebel also sent letters to the Railway Association of Canada and individual railroads to strongly encourage the installation of LRVs on locomotives. The Canadian government is committed to working with the industry to improve rail safety, he said.

On May 1, the government announced new amendments to the Railway Safety Act that encourage railroads to create and maintain a safety culture. The amendments enable the government to penalize rule violators by instituting strict monetary penalties and increased judicial penalties; creating whistleblower protection for employees who raise safety concerns; and requiring each railroad to employ an executive legally responsible for safety.

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