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To report signal malfunctions, trespassing, or other safety concerns, contact our Police Communications Centre 24/7 at 1-800-716-9132.

For all other inquiries, please take a moment and browse through our FAQ's and resources section below before you contact us.

 Answers to your most asked questions​

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 Frequency

When can I expect a train?

Tags:

  • Frequency
Any time can be train time.

CP must operate around the clock in order to accommodate changing customer requirements and adjust to dynamic operating conditions. Additionally, some portions of CP’s network are used to accommodate commuter and passenger traffic, as well as other third party traffic. CP’s rail network is utilized to the fullest extent possible in order to ensure that we can continue to provide efficient and cost-effective freight rail transportation services.

This means trains run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year and can be expected at any time.

How fast do trains travel?

Tags:

  • Frequency
There are different allowable train speeds for every section of track, including through cities, towns and communities. There are also different train speeds that apply to commuter and passenger traffic. Track speed also varies with changing operating conditions.

In Canada, CP follows Transport Canada standards and in the U.S., the Federal Railroad Administration Track Safety Standards when setting maximum track speeds.

Please be reminded trains may be travelling faster than they appear, and could take 1 mile/1.5 kilometers or longer to come to a full stop.

 Train Whistles

Why do trains whistle at crossings?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
In Canada, trains are required to whistle at all public grade crossings and the train must begin sounding its whistle at least a quarter mile upon approach to the crossing, unless there is a whistle cessation agreement in place.

In the U.S., locomotive engineers on freight trains must sound the train horn 15 to 20 seconds before entering any public grade crossing, and must continue to sound the horn until the train fully occupies the grade crossing, unless there is a quiet zone designation in place.

Train crews will also sound the whistle if their view is restricted or they perceive a danger, such as someone walking on the track.

How loud are train whistles?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
The train whistle must be capable of producing a minimum sound level of 96 decibels. Although there is no maximum volume rule in Canada, CP follows the Federal Railroad Authority (FRA) rules for the U.S., since our trains operate on both sides of the border. Under FRA rules, the maximum volume level for the train horn is 110 decibels.

How can whistles be stopped?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
There are several steps in applying for whistle cessation, or quiet zone, at a designated crossing. For information on this process, please visit:

What pattern do train whistles follow?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
The train whistle must be sounded in a pattern: 2 long - 1 short - 1 long. The last long whistle must be held until the train occupies the crossing. Whistle use outside of this pattern may indicate a safety concern, such as warning a trespasser of an approaching train.

 Crossings

Why do trains whistle at crossings?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
In Canada, trains are required to whistle at all public grade crossings and the train must begin sounding its whistle at least a quarter mile upon approach to the crossing, unless there is a whistle cessation agreement in place.

In the U.S., locomotive engineers on freight trains must sound the train horn 15 to 20 seconds before entering any public grade crossing, and must continue to sound the horn until the train fully occupies the grade crossing, unless there is a quiet zone designation in place.

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 public grade crossing - also known as a level crossing - is where a road or path crosses the train tracks at the same level; as opposed to a train traveling over or under the road.

A public grade crossing is the only safe and legal place for the general public to cross train tracks. Motorists and pedestrians are reminded to obey all signage and take care when crossing.

How can whistles be stopped?

Tags:

  • Train Whistles
  • Crossings
There are several steps in applying for whistle cessation, or quiet zone, at a designated crossing. For information on this process, please visit:

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 and cannot swerve or stop suddenly to avoid an accident.

At 10,000 tonnes or more, it can take a freight train 1 mile/1.5 kilometres, or longer, to stop. Anyone found on CP property without authorization may be charged with trespassing.

How long can trains block crossings?

Tags:

  • Crossings
  • General
In Canada, regulations prohibit a train from standing still on a public grade crossing for longer than 5 minutes and the crew must clear the crossing after 5 minutes to allow vehicles and pedestrians through. https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/rail/grade-crossings/grade-crossing-regulations/public-grade-crossings.html. There are exceptions to this rule. In the U.S., the majority of states place restrictions on the amount of time a rail grade crossing can be blocked: https://www.fra.dot.gov/StateLaws. The time allowed for blocking varies but generally does not exceed 20 minutes. When an emergency vehicle needs to travel through a blocked crossing, CP will endeavor to clear the affected crossing as quickly as possible. If you require emergency vehicular passage at a grade crossing, contact CP Police Service immediately at 1-800-716-9132.

 Right of Way

How wide is the right of way?

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  • Right of Way
In most areas, CP’s right of way extends approximately 50 feet/15.25 metres from the centre of the outermost track on both sides.

In some cases, CP’s right of way extends beyond this area in order to accommodate rail operations, such as areas needed for the storage of rail equipment and materials.

If you have questions about your property boundary, you should have your property surveyed.

Who is responsible for maintaining the Right of Way?

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  • Right of Way
CP is responsible for maintaining its right of way for safe railway operations.

What is CP's approach to vegetation management?

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  • Right of Way

Can I use a drone near the railway?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
  • General
CP does not allow drone flights over its private railroad property. Our employees work in an environment where distractions, such as unexpected overflights, pose safety risks to employees, the public and our operations.

 Engine Idling

Why is there locomotive idling?

Tags:

  • Engine Idling
  • General
Holding trains temporarily along the mainline, or on sidings, is a normal and necessary part of railroad operations. This allows the railcars to be sorted, marshalled, inspected, and to perform a host of other operational requirements. Additionally, important mechanical safety components of trains, such as air brake pressure, require the intermittent starting and stopping of locomotive engines. During cold weather, the locomotive must remain running to avoid severe damage to the engine.

CP property is a heavy industrial zone used to support live railway operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. CP tries to minimize the effects resulting from our operations on people living nearby, in so far as reasonable, while ensuring that CP’s railway network remain efficient and cost-effective.

 General

What is being moved by a typical train?

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  • General
Trains carry a wide variety of goods such as grain, coal, automobiles, steel, lumber, paper, fertilizers, fuels, chemicals and all types of manufactured goods. CP also handles a wide variety of materials related to agriculture, manufacturing and heavy industry. Almost everything you have in your home likely moved on a train at some point.

Does CP transport hazardous materials?

Tags:

  • General
Yes. CP is required to carry all traffic tendered, upon reasonable terms and conditions. This includes the requirement to carry dangerous goods or hazardous materials.

Rail is one of the safest modes of transport and CP moves these products adhering to strict federal rules and industry standards. CP continually strives to make the transportation of dangerous goods or hazardous materials as safe as possible.

For more information regarding dangerous goods that are transported through your community by CP, visit https://www.cpr.ca/en/safety/transporting-dangerous-goods . We also work with municipalities and first responders to prepare emergency response plans for railway incidents. . CP is 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 and cannot swerve or stop suddenly to avoid an accident.

At 10,000 tonnes or more, it can take a freight train 1 mile/1.5 kilometres, or longer, to stop. Anyone found on CP property without authorization may be charged with trespassing.

What if I see dangerous activity on your tracks?

Tags:

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

Where can I get used rail ties?

Tags:

  • General
Rail ties are not for sale and we do not give them away. Generally, CP ships used rail ties to co-generation facilities for use as fuel to generate energy and produce electric power. This "waste to energy" program minimizes the use of landfills and is an economically viable solution for CP and the co-generation facilities.

Can I use a drone near the railway?

Tags:

  • Right of Way
  • General
CP does not allow drone flights over its private railroad property. Our employees work in an environment where distractions, such as unexpected overflights, pose safety risks to employees, the public and our operations.

Can CP ship my personal effects or my vehicle?

Tags:

  • General
CP is a commercial transportation company and we do not transport personal effects. To arrange the transport of a personal vehicle, contact CP’s partner L. Hansen's Forwarding at http://www.lhf.com .

How long can trains block crossings?

Tags:

  • Crossings
  • General
In Canada, regulations prohibit a train from standing still on a public grade crossing for longer than 5 minutes and the crew must clear the crossing after 5 minutes to allow vehicles and pedestrians through. https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/rail/grade-crossings/grade-crossing-regulations/public-grade-crossings.html. There are exceptions to this rule. In the U.S., the majority of states place restrictions on the amount of time a rail grade crossing can be blocked: https://www.fra.dot.gov/StateLaws. The time allowed for blocking varies but generally does not exceed 20 minutes. When an emergency vehicle needs to travel through a blocked crossing, CP will endeavor to clear the affected crossing as quickly as possible. If you require emergency vehicular passage at a grade crossing, contact CP Police Service immediately at 1-800-716-9132.

Why is there locomotive idling?

Tags:

  • Engine Idling
  • General
Holding trains temporarily along the mainline, or on sidings, is a normal and necessary part of railroad operations. This allows the railcars to be sorted, marshalled, inspected, and to perform a host of other operational requirements. Additionally, important mechanical safety components of trains, such as air brake pressure, require the intermittent starting and stopping of locomotive engines. During cold weather, the locomotive must remain running to avoid severe damage to the engine.

CP property is a heavy industrial zone used to support live railway operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. CP tries to minimize the effects resulting from our operations on people living nearby, in so far as reasonable, while ensuring that CP’s railway network remain efficient and cost-effective.

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 Content Editor ‭[1]‬

Looking for a quote to move your product?

Fill out our online form so our team of transportation and logistics experts can start providing you with the best solution.

Real Estate inquiries

For questions about easements, leases, house moves, public/private road crossings, and property sales, fill out this form

Utility crossings

Need to do work under, over or beside our tracks? Fill out this form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Looking for a job?

Visit our career site and apply online here

e-Railsafe

e-Railsafe is a program to ensure all contractors complete the requisite safety and security training, and security background checks on its employees.

Contractor safety compliance program (ISN)

If your company performs work at a yard operation, right of way or other safety/security sensitive environment, then an ISN membership is required.

Surplus goods

Bid on everything from shop equipment to food and grain products through our online system or subscribe to our mailing lists

Community event notification

If your event will cross CP tracks or you anticipate a gathering of people close to the railway.

Mini trains

​Our mini-trains are involved in community events and parades throughout the year.

CP Archives

Documentation, images and artifacts pertaining to the history of CP from incorporation to recent years.

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot provide any historical information about an employee who worked at CP.

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Still can't find what you're looking for? Fill out this form* and we'll respond to you as quickly as we can.

*Make sure you've got the right railway.  Check out the Railway Association of Canada's online map to see which railways operate in your area. This ​map also has contact information for other Canadian railways. Use the Search feature and enter your address to locate the railway near you.