Trespassing incidents were down in October—but there’s still work to be done

Trespassing on railway tracks and property continues to be a serious problem in Canada—and it’s costing Canadians their lives. So far in 2023, 41 people have been killed in trespassing incidents, up from 39 this time last year.
Even though trespassing incidents were down in October 2023 compared to 2022, three Canadians still lost their lives while trespassing on federally-regulated railways. Behind each and every one of these statistics is a person—and every incident is a tragedy. So let’s work together to get these numbers down to zero.
Follow these simple steps to stay rail-safe
Whether you’re on foot, or riding a bike, a snowmobile, or an ATV, staying safe around railway tracks or property is all about knowing the rules—and abiding by them. Please follow these 7 simple tips and help us #StopTrackTragedies:
  1. Never trespass on railways tracks. Railway yards, tracks, tunnels, bridges, and equipment are all private property. If you’re caught trespassing on them, you could be fined up to $50,000. But trespassing isn’t just illegal—it’s also extremely dangerous.
  1. Keep one ear out when wearing headphones. You can’t avoid getting hit by a train if you can’t hear or see it coming. Today’s trains are fast and extremely quiet, so if you’re distracted when approaching a railway crossing, you’re putting your life at risk. Be aware of your surroundings.
  1. Don’t use train tracks as a shortcut. It’s hard to judge how far away a train is or what speed it’s travelling at. Trains can go as fast as 160 km/h and can take up to 2 kilometres to come to a complete stop. That’s the length of 18 football fields.
  1. Don’t walk, cycle, or ATV alongside tracks. Trains can overhang the tracks by as much as 1 metre on each side. They can also carry loads that are wider than the railway cars themselves. So, stay clear.
  1. Obey all railway signs and signals, and never go around lowered gates at a crossing. If a train is approaching, or if railway warning signals are activated, stop behind any gates or stop lines—or no closer than 5 metres from the closest rail—and wait for the train to pass. Cross only after the warning signals have stopped and you’re certain no other trains are approaching, from either direction, on any track.
  1. Don’t take photos on tracks. Capturing the “perfect picture” isn’t worth risking your life. Always stay a safe distance from railway property when taking photographs or filming footage. Use a zoom lens so you can keep off tracks and out of harm’s way if a train does come along.

For more tips on how to stay rail-safe, check out the resources on our website. Share them with the people you love, because we all have a role to play in rail safety.