In June, Transport Canada released a study by the Advisory Council on Rail Safety’s Working Group on Locomotive Voice and Video Recorders (LVRs), which calls for the voluntary installation of voice/video recording devices on locomotives by railway companies. It should be noted that VIA Rail has committed to installing voice recorders on all its locomotives.

“I wish to thank the Advisory Council for its work, which will inform measures to improve rail safety in Canada,” said Minister Lebel. “Our government accepts the report’s findings, and supports the voluntary use of voice recorders. We applaud VIA Rail’s commitment to voluntarily installing voice recorders on all their trains, and we strongly encourage other rail operators to consider doing the same.”

Today, the Minister also wrote to the Railway Association of Canada and individual railway companies to strongly encourage installation of recording devices.

The working group, comprised of representatives from the railways, unions and Transport Canada, undertook a comprehensive study of the issue of locomotive voice and video recorders at the request of the Minister following a VIA Rail train derailment in Burlington, Ontario on February 26, 2012.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with industry to improve rail safety. On May 1, 2013, the government announced the coming into force of amendments to the Railway Safety Act to encourage railway companies to create and maintain a culture of safety and penalize rule breakers by enabling the Government of Canada to:

• require railway companies to submit environmental management plans;
• crack down on rule breakers with tough new monetary penalties and increased judicial penalties;
• create whistleblower protection for employees who raise safety concerns;
• require each railway to have an executive legally responsible for safety; and
• emphasize the central importance of safety management systems.

The Advisory Council on Rail Safety’s Working Group Final Report on LVRs is available here: