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Rail transportation safety

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s (TSB) Watchlist identifies the key safety issues that need to be addressed to make Canada’s transportation system even safer.

The issues on this list are supported by a combination of investigation reports, Board safety concerns and Board recommendations. All of them, however, require a concerted effort from the regulator and industry stakeholders.


Following railway signal indications
Following railway signal indications

Train crews do not consistently recognize and follow railway signals. This poses a risk of train collisions or derailments, which can have catastrophic consequences.

Unplanned/uncontrolled movement of rail equipment
Unplanned/uncontrolled movement of rail equipment

Unplanned/uncontrolled movements of rail equipment create high-risk situations that may have catastrophic consequences. Between 2010 and 2019, the trend of unplanned/uncontrolled movements was on an upward trajectory.

Safety management
Safety management

Some transportation operators in the air, marine and rail sectors are not managing their safety risks effectively, and many are still not required to have formal safety management processes in place.

Fatigue management
Fatigue management

In the transportation industry, crews often work long and irregular schedules—sometimes in challenging conditions or crossing multiple time zones—that are not always conducive to proper restorative sleep

Regulatory surveillance
Regulatory surveillance

Regulatory surveillance has not always proven effective at verifying whether operators are, or have become, compliant with regulations and able to manage the safety of their operations.