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April 17, 2019updated 18 Apr 2019 5:47am

Canada to fund 136 new projects to improve rail safety

The Government of Canada has announced plans to support 136 new projects and initiatives in a bid to increase rail safety across the country.

The Government of Canada has announced plans to support 136 projects and initiatives in a bid to increase rail safety across the country.

The programme, announced by Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, focuses on safety improvements on rail property, encourages technological research and closing of accident-prone crossings.

It includes improvement works at 104 grade crossings and other railway infrastructure.

Overall, the projects will receive a combined funding of C$16.5m ($12.39m) under the Rail Safety Improvement Program.

“We have taken many steps to strengthen rail safety and will continue working on ways to make our railway system safer for Canadians.”

Garneau said: “Rail safety is my top priority. We have taken many steps to strengthen rail safety and will continue working on ways to make our railway system safer for Canadians.

“Our renewed commitment to the Rail Safety Improvement Program demonstrates our dedication to modernising the railway system so that Canada continues to have one of the safest rail systems in the world.”

In Canada, most rail-related fatalities and serious injuries are due to grade crossing and trespassing accidents.

These projects are expected to increase safety at grade crossings and strengthen public confidence in Canada’s rail transportation system.

In the last four years, Canada has invested more than C$71m ($53.31m) to promote rail safety.

Member of Parliament for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe Ginette Petitpas Taylor said: “We’ve always been focused on protecting the citizens of our community from the hazards of railway crossings and through the Rail Safety Improvement Program our government is working with railway companies and other governments to enhance safety at all crossings in our communities.”

Last month, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released a report which found that rail accidents in the country increased by 7% last year.

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