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Transport Canada has published a notice of intent in the Canada Gazette that proposes implementation of enhanced train control (ETC) technology to improve freight and passenger rail safety.
ETC involves an embedded driver assist mechanism that reduces the potential for human error by alerting the train crew to potential danger on the tracks. More advanced implementations of ETC can stop a train’s movement to prevent a collision or derailment.
The agency’s approach focuses on having railroads tailor investments according to the level of safety risk posed by individual rail corridors. Advanced ETC would be used in high-risk corridors, while ETC with a more basic level of functionality would be used in low-risk corridors, Transport Canada officials said in a press release.
The agency is seeking feedback from the rail industry and labor unions.
"The safety benefits of enhanced train control technologies are widely recognized when it comes to helping prevent certain railway accidents caused by human behavior," said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. "Successfully introducing this technology to Canada will involve working closely with industry, labor representatives and other stakeholders to develop new approaches, standards and protocols."