Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


Handling of Carloads of Explosives on Railway Trackage Regulations (SOR/79-15)

Regulations are current to 2024-06-19 and last amended on 2015-06-18. Previous Versions

Handling of Carloads of Explosives on Railway Trackage Regulations



Registration 1978-12-22

Regulations Governing the Handling of Carloads of Explosives on Railway Company Team or Spur Tracks

C.T.C. 1978-11 RAIL

The Canadian Transport Commission, pursuant to Sections 295 and 296 of the Railway Act and Section 46 of the National Transportation Act, hereby makes the Regulations Governing the Handling of Carloads of Explosives on Railway Company Team or Spur Tracks, in accordance with the schedule hereto.

These regulations shall come into force six (6) months from the date hereof.

Dated at Ottawa, this 21st day of December, 1978

Short Title

 These Regulations may be cited as the Handling of Carloads of Explosives on Railway Trackage Regulations.


  •  (1) In these Regulations,


    Commission means the Canadian Transport Commission; (Commission)


    Committee means the Railway Transport Committee of the Commission; (Comité)


    explosives means any compound, mixture or substance the common purpose of which is to function by detonation as prescribed by the Committee for the purposes of these Regulations; (explosifs)

    handling site

    handling site means a point on a team or spur track where a rail car is placed for loading or unloading; (lieu de manutention)

    hazard area

    hazard area means the area surrounding a handling site that may reasonably be expected to suffer serious damage, if the maximum quantity of explosives authorized for that handling site were to explode; (zone dangereuse)

    shipper or consignee

    shipper or consignee means the person in charge of an explosives handling operation or his agent; (expéditeur ou destinataire)

    team or spur track

    team or spur track means a track on railway property that is available to the general public for loading and unloading purposes. (voie de débord ou embranchement industriel)

  • (2) For the purpose of these Regulations,

    danger factors

    danger factors means

    • (a) the maximum net weight of explosives proposed to be present on a handling site at any one time, whether inside or outside of a rail car or other vehicle, or in transfer from one vehicle to the other,

    • (b) the number of times per year, month or week that any quantity of explosives will be loaded or unloaded at a handling site,

    • (c) the maximum number of hours any quantity of explosives may be present at a handling site whether in a rail car or other vehicle or in transfer from one vehicle to the other, and

    • (d) the distance between a handling site and an occupied building or other place or facility specified in paragraph 6(2)(b). (facteurs dangereux)

PART IHandling Site

  •  (1) Where not more than one carload of explosives at any one time and not more than six carloads of explosives per year are to be handled on a handling site, the railway company in conjunction with the shipper or consignee, shall select as a handling site the most suitable site based on the danger factors.

  • (2) At the time a handling site is selected by a railway company pursuant to subsection (1), the railway company shall

    • (a) inform the local fire authority thereof;

    • (b) ensure that the shipper or consignee has obtained approval for the site from the Chief Inspector, Explosives Branch, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources; and

    • (c) notify the Committee thereof.

 Where more than one carload of explosives at any one time or more than six carloads of explosives per year are to be handled on a handling site, application for authority to handle the carloads of explosives at the site shall be made to the Committee by the railway company on behalf of the shipper or consignee.

  •  (1) The desirable distance between occupied dwellings or places where people congregate and a handling site is dependent on the net weight of explosives being handled at that handling site.

  • (2) Where it is impossible to find a suitable handling site based on all the danger factors, a handling site may be selected under section 3 or 4 that affords an acceptable risk by virtue of the site’s topographical features.

  •  (1) Each application made pursuant to section 4 shall set out

    • (a) the following particulars in respect of the location of the handling site:

      • (i) the name of the railway company,

      • (ii) the name of the railway subdivision,

      • (iii) the railway mileage point, and

      • (iv) the name of the hamlet, village, town or city in which or nearest to which such site is located;

    • (b) full information concerning the danger factors; and

    • (c) evidence that the appropriate local fire authority has been informed as to the proposed use of the handling site.

  • (2) The information concerning the distance described in paragraph 2(2)(d) provided with each application made pursuant to section 4 shall

    • (a) be provided in duplicate on a plan, drawn to a scale of not less than two hundred feet to one inch, covering the hazard area for the maximum quantity of any carload of explosives to be handled at any one time, and showing the railway track and right-of-way boundaries; and

    • (b) include the distance between the handling site and schools, theatres, hospitals, office buildings, department stores, stations, single dwellings, apartment houses, open spaces and other places of public assembly, factories, pump houses, storage tanks, warehouses, electric power stations, power lines, installations already handling other commodities (reactive or otherwise, whether in transit or in storage) and the nearest fire hydrant or other source of water available for firefighting purposes.

 On receipt of an application under section 4 the Committee may, by letter of authority, authorize a shipper or consignee to handle carloads of explosives at the handling site named in that letter.

PART IIGeneral Provisions when Carloads of Explosives Are on the Handling Site

  •  (1) Every railway company shall require that all reasonable precautions are taken against mishaps on a handling site and in particular shall ensure that

    • (a) smoking and the use of welding or other equipment with an open flame is prohibited on the handling site by suitable signs and otherwise;

    • (b) suitable signs indicating that access to the area is restricted are conspicuously posted at the handling site;

    • (c) locked derails are applied to the railway track or that switches are locked using private padlocks to prevent the car from being contacted by other cars from either direction;

    • (d) when a consignee breaks the seal of a carload of explosives while taking delivery, or when a shipper is loading a carload of explosives, all car doors are securely padlocked whenever the car is unattended during meal periods or other interruptions of operations;

    • (e) the handling site and immediate surrounding area are kept free of litter and other fire hazards;

    • (f) fire extinguishers, with an effective total rating of at least two 10 B:C or the equivalent first aid fire protection, are readily available at the site;

    • (g) if explosives are imminently threatened by fire, the hazard area is to be evacuated immediately;

    • (h) damaged packages of explosives and any material escaping therefrom are removed from railway property without delay; and

    • (i) any fire, explosion or similar incident at a handling site is reported immediately to the railway company by the person in charge of the handling operation.

  • (2) Every railway company shall

    • (a) immediately on receipt of a report under paragraph (1)(i), report to the Director, Safety and Standards, Railway Transport Committee, by telephone at the number specified from time to time by the Committee, the fire, explosion or similar incident reported to the railway company; and

    • (b) within 30 days thereafter, send a detailed report in writing to the Director referred to in paragraph (a).

Date modified: