Canada Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has proposed new regulations to penalise railway companies that violate the Railway Safety Act.

The proposal is part of a new series of railway safety rules and amendments set by the Canadian Government and the regulations are expected to improve Transport Canada’s ability to quickly enforce safety requirements.

In July 2013, an emergency directive was issued under section 33 of the Railway Safety Act to improve safety across the national rail network, following a train derailment in Quebec.

"These regulations introduce penalties as an additional enforcement tool."

Under these regulations, Transport Canada would be able to fine railway companies for not submitting required safety management system information to the minister, failing to provide proper notice prior before conducting certain types of rail work and failing to have work approved by a professional engineer.

Raitt said: "These regulations introduce penalties as an additional enforcement tool. They will help crack down on rule-breakers and improve the safety of the Canadian railway system."

Transport Canada will also monitor whether the railway companies are compliant with rules, regulations and standards through audits and inspections, as well as taking appropriate action as required.