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5/20/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Canadian legislators continue to seek ways to revamp railroad noise laws


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Canadian legislators still are trying to amend transportation legislation to empower the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to resolve railroad noise complaints, according to Transport Canada. Although citizens can complain to railroad officials or seek civil action, no federal or other governmental body is mandated to regulate railway noise.

In the late 1990s, CTA became involved in resolving noise-related complaints between railroads and adjacent landowners, mainly in urban areas. In 2001, a Canada Transportation Act review panel recommended the act be changed to clarify CTA's legislative powers, including jurisdiction over railway noise cases.

Last year, Canada's Parliament introduced legislation proposing a series of act amendments, including several related to railroad noise and one to CTA's authority over noise-related complaints. The bill stalled in a transport committee when Parliament recessed in November.

Legislators still are considering act amendments that would require railroads to minimize noise when constructing track or operating a train. Until legislation is enacted, the Canadian government plans to promote collaboration among railroads and communities, as well as encourage mediation in current cases.


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