Skip to main content

Community

 Zone Configuration - Facts

 

 

Community event **notification**Community event **notification**If your event will cross CP tracks or you anticipate a gathering of people within close proximity to our railway, please let us know/ResponsiveImages/carousels/community-event-notification-faq.png/en/community/living-near-the-railway/community-event-notification
Request our **support**Request our **support**Do you have a project or event that aims to improve heart health? Apply online for CP's support/ResponsiveImages/carousels/CP-Has-Heart.jpg/en/community/cp-has-heart/community-fund
About **CP Has Heart**About **CP Has Heart**Since 2014, we've committed over $10 million to improving heart health across our network/ResponsiveImages/carousels/Heart_health_graphic_carousel.png/en/community/cp-has-heart

 Zone Configuration - FAQs

 Content Editor

Answers to your most asked questions​

 Tab Switcher

 Crossings

Why do trains whistle at crossings?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
In Canada, trains are required under the Railway Safety Act of 1988 to whistle at all public crossings. The train must begin sounding its whistle a quarter mile from the crossing and repeat it until the train is on the crossing. In the United States, locomotive engineers must sound train horns in advance of all public grade crossings (some exceptions apply). The horn must continue to sound until the lead locomotive or train car occupies the grade crossing. Train crews will also sound the whistle if their view is restricted or they perceive a danger, such as someone walking on the track.

What is a public grade crossing?

Tags:

  • Crossings
A grade crossing - also known as a level crossing - is where a road or path intersects with the rail line at the same level, as opposed to a train traveling over or under the road. A public grade crossing is where vehicles and pedestrians use a road which meets with the rail line. Safety mechanisms are in place to warn of oncoming trains

How can whistles be stopped?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
There are several steps involved in applying for a whistle ban at a designated crossing: In Canada, the municipality must first pass a resolution supporting a whistle ban at a specified crossing and make a request for the ban to Transport Canada. Then both CP and Transport Canada undertake a series of crossing inspections before approving the proposal. If the proposal is approved, CP enters a liability agreement with the municipality and a whistle ban is implemented. For more information on applying for a whistle ban in Canada, please refer to the Transport Canada website. When applying for a Quiet Zone in the U.S., all identified crossings must have gates and lights to qualify. If this is not the case, the municipality must upgrade all crossings to meet these requirements. Working with the FRA, the crossings are subject to inspection before final approval. Once approved, CP, traffic authorities, any private landowners and the state highway authority must be notified. Refer to the Federal Railroad Administration website for more information.

Is it okay to walk along the railway track?

Tags:

  • Crossings
  • General
No. It is both illegal and extremely dangerous to walk, drive, cycle or snowmobile on or alongside the railway line. Trains move quickly and quietly. They cannot swerve or stop suddenly to avoid an accident. At a weight of 10,000 tonnes or more, it can take a freight train more than a mile to stop in an emergency. Anyone found on CP property may be charged with trespassing under the Railway Safety Act.

 Engine Idling

Why should I care about having the railway as a neighbour?

Tags:

  • Engine Idling
  • General
If you're considering moving near a rail line or yard, we recommend you ask a few important questions before buying. By finding out more about what CP transports, how often trains run and how we use our property, potential homebuyers can avoid surprises. Although we do our best to be a reasonable neighbour, you need to know what to expect from CP's 24/7 railway operation.

What kinds of noises can I expect from a moving train?

Tags:

  • Engine Idling
Unlike a highway or busy road, the track is generally a very quiet place. When a train passes, you will hear the locomotives followed by the movement of freight cars and wheels making contact with the rails as the train passes. If a train stops or starts, you may hear the sound of brakes being applied or air under pressure passing through brake pipes on each car. You may also hear cars bumping together when slowing, or the slack being taken up when a train accelerates.

What kinds of noises can I expect from a rail yard?

Tags:

  • Engine Idling
You will likely hear train noises if you live near a rail yard, siding or terminal. In these areas, trains may stand for extended periods with their engines idling, as train crews wait for a train to pass or permission to pull out of the yard. Intermodal terminals are served by trucks, trains and mobile equipment for moving and stacking containers; all of which operate around the clock.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
  • Engine Idling
  • General
CP's toll-free Community Connect Line is dedicated to handling questions and concerns from members of the public. Call 1-800-766-7912 or email Community_Connect@cpr.ca.

 Right of Way

How wide is each Right of Way?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
In most areas, the right-of-way extends approximately 50 feet from the center of the track on both sides.

Who is responsible for maintaining the Right of Way?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
CP is responsible for maintaining our right-of-way. If there are concerns regarding a particular right-of-way we forward complaints/concerns to track maintenance supervisors or the CP Police Service as the situation warrants.

What is CP's approach to vegetation management?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
CP is committed to using only those herbicides and pesticides that are safe. These products have been thoroughly inspected to ensure they meet rigorous health and environmental safety standards. All herbicide use is accounted for, and our vegetation management program is continually evaluated.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
  • Engine Idling
  • General
CP's toll-free Community Connect Line is dedicated to handling questions and concerns from members of the public. Call 1-800-766-7912 or email Community_Connect@cpr.ca.

Drone use near the railway

Tags:

  • General
  • Right of Way
CP does not allow any drone flight over our private property. Our employees work in an environment where distractions, such as unexpected overflights, can increase safety risks to employees, the public and our operations. Contact our Community Connect team for more information

 Frequency

When can I expect a train?

Tags:

  • Frequency
CP must operate around the clock in order to meet customer requirements and remain competitive. This means trains can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On some branch lines you may see only one or two trains a week, while busy mainline corridors can have more than 30 trains a day. Contact Community Connect for more detailed frequency information.

How many times per day do trains pass a particular location?

Tags:

  • Frequency
Trains operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Our Community Connect Line (1-800-766-7912) can help answer your questions regarding CP train traffic - all you need to supply is your address. It is important to remember that train traffic can change at any time – traffic can either increase or decrease, the frequency given is merely a snapshot in time.

How do you set your train schedule?

Tags:

  • Frequency
Freight trains do not run on a set schedule like passenger trains do. They can run at any time, depending on what customers need and changes in business cycles. A train schedule may be based on the requirements of a port 2,000 miles away, or it may be based on the needs of a customer who relies on just-in-time delivery of goods to a factory. Other schedules may be flexible because the crew has to stop many times to pick up and drop off freight cars. Our trains may run at any time of the day.

How fast do trains travel?

Tags:

  • Frequency
There are different allowable train speeds for every section of track, including maximum speeds through cities, towns and crossings. The speed at which trains can safely operate is determined by many factors, including the condition of the roadbed and track structure. In Canada, CP looks to Transport Canada standards when setting maximum track speeds. The U.S. Federal Railroad Association’s Track Safety Standards establish track structure and track geometry requirements for nine separate classes of track with maximum speeds designated for each class.

 Train Whistles

Why do trains whistle at crossings?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
In Canada, trains are required under the Railway Safety Act of 1988 to whistle at all public crossings. The train must begin sounding its whistle a quarter mile from the crossing and repeat it until the train is on the crossing. In the United States, locomotive engineers must sound train horns in advance of all public grade crossings (some exceptions apply). The horn must continue to sound until the lead locomotive or train car occupies the grade crossing. Train crews will also sound the whistle if their view is restricted or they perceive a danger, such as someone walking on the track.

What pattern do train horns follow?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
Wherever feasible, train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of 2 long, 1 short and 1 long. In the United States, under the Train Horn Rule, locomotive engineers must sound train horns for a minimum of 15 seconds, and a maximum of 20 seconds, in advance of all public grade crossings (some exceptions apply).

How loud are train whistles?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
A maximum volume level for the train horn has been established at 110 decibels. The minimum sound level remains 96 decibels.These rules apply 24 hours a day and are intended to alert motorists and pedestrians of the approaching train.

How can whistles be stopped?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
There are several steps involved in applying for a whistle ban at a designated crossing: In Canada, the municipality must first pass a resolution supporting a whistle ban at a specified crossing and make a request for the ban to Transport Canada. Then both CP and Transport Canada undertake a series of crossing inspections before approving the proposal. If the proposal is approved, CP enters a liability agreement with the municipality and a whistle ban is implemented. For more information on applying for a whistle ban in Canada, please refer to the Transport Canada website. When applying for a Quiet Zone in the U.S., all identified crossings must have gates and lights to qualify. If this is not the case, the municipality must upgrade all crossings to meet these requirements. Working with the FRA, the crossings are subject to inspection before final approval. Once approved, CP, traffic authorities, any private landowners and the state highway authority must be notified. Refer to the Federal Railroad Administration website for more information.

 General

Why should I care about having the railway as a neighbour?

Tags:

  • Engine Idling
  • General
If you're considering moving near a rail line or yard, we recommend you ask a few important questions before buying. By finding out more about what CP transports, how often trains run and how we use our property, potential homebuyers can avoid surprises. Although we do our best to be a reasonable neighbour, you need to know what to expect from CP's 24/7 railway operation.

Why do some trains have only one type of car?

Tags:

  • General
When the demand for a certain product goes up we use extra trains or 'unit trains'. Unit trains are full trainloads of one commodity and can run any time of day. If the demand for a commodity goes up you can expect additional trains to handle the volume, the opposite if demand decreases.

What is being moved by a typical train?

Tags:

  • General
Virtually everything you have in your home likely moved on a train at some point. Trains up to 14,000 feet long can carry grain, coal, automobiles, steel, lumber, paper, fertilizers, fuels, chemicals and all types of manufactured goods. CP handles a wide variety of materials related to agriculture, manufacturing and heavy industry. Trains may be made up of mixed commodities or carry the same commodity in every car or container.

Does CP transport hazardous materials?

Tags:

  • General
Many everyday products contain hazardous materials, and these must be transported some way to and from manufacturers. Rail is one of the safest modes of transport and CP moves these products adhering to strict federal rules and industry guidelines. Some of our safety initiatives include rail car safety features, loading and unloading procedures and employee training. CP works with municipalities and first responders to prepare emergency response plans for railway incidents. We are also a member of Responsible Care, an international chemical industry initiative which promotes the safe handling and transport of dangerous goods.

Is it okay to walk along the railway track?

Tags:

  • Crossings
  • General
No. It is both illegal and extremely dangerous to walk, drive, cycle or snowmobile on or alongside the railway line. Trains move quickly and quietly. They cannot swerve or stop suddenly to avoid an accident. At a weight of 10,000 tonnes or more, it can take a freight train more than a mile to stop in an emergency. Anyone found on CP property may be charged with trespassing under the Railway Safety Act.

What if I see dangerous activity on your tracks?

Tags:

  • General
If you see trespassers or dangerous activity on or around CP tracks, at any time of the day you can contact the CP Police Service at 1-800-716-9132.

Where can I get used rail ties?

Tags:

  • General
Rail ties are not for sale, nor do we give them away. All rail ties that can no longer be used in a railway track are shipped to co-generation facilities permitted to accept creosote treated wood, for use as a supplemental fuel to generate energy and produce electric power. This "waste to energy" program is mutually beneficial as it not only minimizes the use of landfills but is also an economically viable solution for both CP and co-generation facilities.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
  • Engine Idling
  • General
CP's toll-free Community Connect Line is dedicated to handling questions and concerns from members of the public. Call 1-800-766-7912 or email Community_Connect@cpr.ca.

Drone use near the railway

Tags:

  • General
  • Right of Way
CP does not allow any drone flight over our private property. Our employees work in an environment where distractions, such as unexpected overflights, can increase safety risks to employees, the public and our operations. Contact our Community Connect team for more information

 Zone Configuration - Proximity

 Content Editor - Proximity

As communities continue to grow around train tracks and railway operations, issues including noise and vibrations, idling locomotives and blocked highway and railway crossings become more commonplace in many municipalities.