Transit and Rail Safety


When the Transport Canada Grade Crossings Regulations was introduced in November 2014, road authorities were required to ensure that the grade crossings in their jurisdiction complied with the applicable standards by the deadlines set out the regulations. Since the introduction of the Grade Crossing Regulations, True North Safety Group completed safety reviews of more than 150 at-grade railway crossings for road authorities across Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Building on this depth of experience and expertise, True North Safety Group has recently undertaken rail safety projects in the expanding area of light rail transit including the Trillium Line in Ottawa and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto.

Our experts can provide the following services related to rail safety:
  • Assess risk and design considerations for shared rights-of-way to promote pedestrian and bicyclist safety as well as reduce risk of collision with passenger vehicles and vehicular incursion of the ROW.
  • Collect, analyze, assemble, and summarize the data that road authorities must share with the railway agencies.
  • Compliance reviews of existing at-grade crossings.
  • Whistling cessation studies to examine the feasibility of eliminating whistling at railway crossings.
  • Preliminary hazard assessments of existing at-grade crossing including pedestrian crossings.
  • Identification of the standards and safety measures to be implemented at new crossings to comply with the Grade Crossing Regulations and ensure that an adequate level of safety and compliance are achieved.

Current/Recent Projects:

Eglinton Crosstown LRT - Road Safety | Crosslinx Transit Solutions | 2021-2022

TNS was retained by Crosslink Transit Solutions Constructors (CTSC) to conduct a review of transit operations through the at-grade intersections along the corridor for the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (ECLRT) line. The risks areas identified were: 

  • Maximum allowable safe speed at intersection and risk of collisions between a light rail vehicle (LRV) and the public at intersection; 
  • Reverse traffic/single track operation/LRV shuttle service in the semi-exclusive guideway at intersections; and 
  • Road vehicle collisions within the stop periphery. 

To better understand, define and evaluate the risks associated with these three areas, TNS prepared and conducted a series of workshops with CTSC and stakeholders. The workshops were completed in three steps to: 

  • Identify the potential additional risk associated with the design and operations of the ECLRT; 
  • Refine the potential risks and identify the higher frequency/severity risks requiring mitigation; and 
  • Identify the preferred mitigation measures, monitoring and/or further assessment related to each risk. 

In addition to the workshops, TNS completed a series of in-field investigations and delivered a report of findings and recommendations.

At-Grade Railway Crossing Safety Assessments | City of Ottawa | 2021

TNS was retained by the City of Ottawa to review the active transportation facilities at the following four at-grade railway crossings:

  • Donald B. Munro Drive;
  • Buckland Road;
  • Woodroffe Avenue; and
  • McCarthy Road.

The scope of the review was to:

  • Review short-term remedial actions proposed by the City and their appropriateness in addressing compliance with Transport Canada Grade Crossing Regulations and Standards;
  • Identify additional/alternative remedial actions that could be implemented to address active transportation issues prior to November 28, 2021; and
  • Develop conceptual plans and budgetary cost estimates for capital works to implement permanent active transportation facilities to meet the grade crossing regulations/standards.
RSAs for Trillium Passenger Rail System | SNC Lavalin (City of Ottawa) | 2019-2021

TNS was retained to conduct a road safety audit and to review the transportation safety and human factors aspects of the Trillium Line Project in Ottawa at three specific phases of design. Theses phases include Phase 1: Preliminary Design (60%), Phase 2: Draft-Final Design (99%), and Phase 3: Post-Construction. The safety assessments were conducted in accordance with the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Road Safety Audit Guide.

Railway Crossing Safety Assessments | City of Lacombe | 2019

TNS and Watt Consulting were retained by the City of Lacombe to examine the feasibility of eliminating whistling at the crossings located along a rail corridor that traverses the City. To determine what improvements were required at the subject crossings to meet the whistling cessation requirements specified in section 104 of the Grade Crossings Regulations and Appendix D of the Grade Crossing Standards, the project team completed the following:

  • Conducted compliance reviews of the railway grade crossings
  • Identified proven engineering and/or enforcement countermeasures with the potential to mitigate the identified non-conformities and deficiencies at the crossings
  • Established budgetary level costs for the identified countermeasures

A total of 5 grade crossings were included in this study.

Railway Crossing Safety Assessments

Conducted for numerous municipalities in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.


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