Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian government is providing almost $14 million in new funding to improve railway crossings. The new funding is for the Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP), which supports projects to improve safety at crossings.

“Our government is increasing its commitment to rail safety,” said Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “While Canada has one of the safest rail systems in the world, improvements can still be made. This additional investment will enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists at 810 locations across the country, and help to save lives.”

Through the GCIP, eligible railway crossings are upgraded, relocated or closed, based on factors such as traffic volume and crash history. Improvements may include installing flashing lights and gates, linking crossing signals to nearby traffic lights, or adding new circuits or timing devices. Transport Canada finances up to 80 per cent of the total cost, with the balance provided by the railways and road authorities.

There are approximately 55,000 public, private and pedestrian highway-railway crossings in Canada. Approximately 50 per cent of vehicle-train collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices such as gates, lights or bells.

Projects for 2011-2012 include 43 in British Columbia, 76 in Alberta, 14 in Saskatchewan, 11 in Manitoba, 399 in Ontario, 199 in Quebec, 48 in New Brunswick and 20 in Nova Scotia

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