Printable Version: Applicant Guide for Crossing Closures
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Table of Contents
Almost half of all railway-related deaths and injuries result from accidents at crossings. Because of the on-going need to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities, government grants are available to encourage crossing closures at public and private grade crossings, under federal jurisdiction, where an identified safety concern or hazard exists.
The Grade Crossing Closure Program (GCCP), funded under Section 12.1 of the Railway Safety Act (RSA), may provide a grant as an incentive to close a crossing. For private crossings, a grant of $5,000.00 may be provided and for public crossings, a grant of $20,000.00 may be provided.
The grant for closing a crossing must be for a crossing where a safety concern or hazard exists; or, where the closing of the crossing will divert the user to an adjacent crossing where a higher level of safety exists. The impact of closing a crossing on all vehicular and pedestrian traffic movements must be addressed. The closure must not result in a creation of a trespassing situation nor can the closing of the crossing create a safety concern at other crossings.
Recipients will be a PERSON, as defined in the Railway Safety Act. This is normally a road authority, or a private party with rights to a crossing. A railway company cannot receive a grant, however it will benefit from any crossing closure. Whether a road authority or a private party, the recipient must be the PERSON with whom the right to the crossing resides. The crossing must be on a line of a federally regulated railway and must have been in existence for at least three years.
The goal of this program is to encourage the closing of crossings; therefore a grant under Section 12.1 will not preclude other funding agreements between the parties involved, normally the railway company and the road authority. In addition, if the closing of a crossing causes a serious traffic concern, funding under Section 12 of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) under the Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP) may be appropriate to address this concern. No eligible cost definition is applicable but all other sources of funding must be disclosed.
The following information must be provided by the applicant in the application:
Applications for a grant to close a crossing should be sent to:
Surface Infrastructure Programs, Programs Group
Tower C, 19th Floor
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N5
Attention: Program Manager, Transit Projects
Copies of the application should also be sent to the appropriate Transport Canada Regional Offices (Appendix A), as well as to the other authorities involved.
Risk assessment principles will apply when reviewing the application; therefore the application will be evaluated and audited by applying a risk-based analysis. An on-site inspection and provision of additional information may be required. In addition, where a closure results in closing a public road, all required approvals pursuant to provincial or municipal legislation must be in place prior to payment of a grant. Confirmation that Provincial Regulatory requirements have been met should be forwarded to Transport Canada’s head office in Ottawa.
Due to the limited amount of available funds in a given year, should the Program receive requests for funding in excess of the Program’s budget, the applications received under the Grade Crossing Closure Program will be prioritized based upon the seriousness of the safety problem or hazard, and the potential for avoiding fatalities, injuries and damage. The following factors are used in prioritizing and in assessing a grade crossing closure:
NOTE: All applications that are received that do not receive funding in any given year are placed on Transport Canada’s “GCCP Pending List” and will be re-evaluated and prioritized against other projects the following year.
In April/May, once all the projects have been prioritized, a list of recommended projects will be sent to the Minister for approval. Once the projects are approved by the Minister (usually around the end of June), notification is sent out by Transport Canada to the applicants whose projects were approved. The maximum grant authorized will be either $5,000 or $20,000 depending on whether the crossing is a private crossing or a public crossing. All crossings approved in a given year must be physically closed by December 31st of that same year.
Following approval, an agreement between Transport Canada and the recipient must be signed and registered by Transport Canada’s legal registry in order for the grant to be released. The agreement outlines the recipient’s responsibilities and the terms and conditions for payment of the grant. Once the agreement is finalized, a copy is sent to the recipient for their records.
Though the Railway Company is responsible for the physical closure of the crossing, the recipient is responsible for notifying Transport Canada that it has been completed and that their rights have been relinquished. This must be done within 30 days upon completion. Once Transport Canada has been notified that the crossing is closed, a TC Inspector will inspect the crossing to ensure it has been closed to our satisfaction. Upon confirmation, payment will be made to the recipient in one lump sum.
As stated in Section 12.1 of the RSA, the key requirement of the agreement is that the person's rights relating to the crossing are extinguished. The agreement will be filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), an environmental assessment (EA) of a project may have to be completed prior to Transport Canada (TC) providing financial assistance that would enable a project to be carried out in whole or in part.
If determined to be necessary, proponents shall conduct the EA of their project proposals, to be completed in accordance, with TC instructions, prior to the commencement of any project related works.
Moncton Regional Office
Heritage Court Building
95 Foundry Street
Moncton, NB E1C 5H7
Surface Infrastructure Programs
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N5
Ontario Regional Office
Joseph Shepard Building
4900 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M2N 6A5
Pacific Regional Office
225-625 Agnes Street
New Westminster, B.C. V3M 5Y4
Prairie & Northern Region:
344 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0P6
Quebec Regional Office
800, René Lévesque Blvd West, Office 638
Montreal, QC H3B 1X9