Other Approvals

Jurisdiction and Administration

Railway crossings operating under federal charter are covered by the Canada Transportation Act, the Railway Safety Act and the Railway Relocation and Crossing Act. Crossings of railways operating under provincial charter are covered by the Railway Act. Federal and provincial regulatory bodies approve all road works in their jurisdiction that revise, reconstruct or relocate an existing crossing, or create a new crossing. The Rail, Navigable Waters Coordinator of the Ministry of Transportation’s Engineering Branch in Victoria coordinates the approval process.

There are three administrative levels of railway crossings:

  1. Public railway crossings are generally recognized as public roads or walkways intersecting a railway.
  2. Private railway crossings (temporary or permanent) are generally vehicular or pedestrian crossings with controlled access, serving only one facility or property.
  3. Farm railway crossings allow farmers continued access to lands severed by the railway.
Private and Farm crossings are not administered by the Rail, Navigable Waters Coordinator. Engineering considerations for private and farm crossings can be similar to minor public roads.


Applicants must prepare a special purpose drawing, called an “Application Layout” drawing, to accompany an application for new at-grade crossings, as well as reconstruction, relocation, or revision of an existing crossing. Drawing information and crossing shall concur with the following;

Time Frames

Approvals can take at least three months for simple crossing revisions that require no action or work by the railway company, other than approval, and where all the Ministry bears all costs.

Expect five months to process applications for crossings requiring railway work and/or railway signal work.

For any crossings where grants and/or cost sharing are required (to be determined by the Rail, Navigable Waters Coordinator), the process can take a minimum of six months.

This guide is a living document; it is subject to change without notice. Please check the Rural Subdivisions Website (http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/permits/Subdibision_Home.asp) to make sure you version is sufficiently current.