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How long can a train legally block a crossing?
REGINA -- There’s a good chance that if you live in Regina’s north end, you’ve experienced that long wait for a train as it chugs across Ring Road.
It was that wait that prompted Grant to email us asking “how long can a train legally block a crossing?”
Turns out, you won’t find a police officer writing an engineer a traffic ticket any time soon.
There are federal regulations aimed at keeping those trains moving, and those guidelines say that trains or equipment shouldn’t block a crossing where people or vehicles are waiting to cross for more than five minutes.
That is reflected in section 29 of the Railway Safety Act which says “where any railway crosses any public highway at rail level, either the railway company nor its officers, agents or employees shall willfully permit any train to unnecessarily interfere with public traffic.”
Transport Canada basically tells us the same thing: “Railway companies cannot conduct regular railway operations or leave railway equipment blocking a public grade crossing for more than five minutes when drivers or pedestrians are waiting to cross, unless the railway equipment is continually moving in one direction.”
In plain English, as long as they’re moving, they’re okay. They have to do everything in their power to get out of the way of emergency vehicles though.
The City of Regina is looking at ways to alleviate your frustration on Ring Road. One plan includes a $107 million proposal to move the lines in the next city budget.