September 18 to 24 is National Rail Safety Week, and the Government of Saskatchewan is reminding everyone to be safe around trains and railways.

“Rail is an important part of our provincial transportation system, carrying Saskatchewan’s food, fuel, fertilizer and other goods to market,” Highways Minister Lori Carr said. “Making sure these goods are moving efficiently is important to the provincial economy, but most importantly we need to ensure they arrive to their destination safely.”

​There are 13 short line railways in Saskatchewan. Short lines are used to move crops, oil and lumber and link more rural locations to larger national rail lines of CN and CPKC. In total, there are more than 2,000 km of railways under provincial jurisdiction, with safety as a top priority.

“Incidents can happen in a split-second and can have tragic and far-reaching consequences for your family, friends and community,” CPKC Chief of Police – Canada Al Sauve said. “Rail safety requires constant vigilance, and CPKC asks that everyone think about their safety around railway property. We continue to focus education and enforcement efforts towards building communities of rail safety ambassadors young and old. We want everyone to go home safely,”

The Ministry of Highways is proud to continue its partnership with Canadian Safety Train Express Inc, by providing essential education materials such as railway safety activity books to students in communities served by short line railways.

“Saskatchewan boasts an extensive railway network. As we embrace the economic benefits and connectivity that railways bring, we must also recognize the importance of railway safety,” Western Canadian Safety Train CEO Perry Pellerin said. “As we strive to enhance railway safety across Canada, we strongly urge the public to stay vigilant and prioritize safety near railway tracks and crossings. Railway safety is a shared responsibility, and it is imperative for individuals to actively contribute to safeguarding both their personal safety and that of their communities.”

The Ministry of Highways also offers financial support to short line rail operators through the Short Line Railway Improvement Program. This initiative provides operations with additional funds to assist in the upgrading and maintenance of their tracks.

The Ministry of Highways conducts safety inspections and reviews short line railway safety management plans to ensure operating rules and plans are up to date. The Ministry also provides technical assistance, advisory services, and facilitation for short line operators who interact with provincial railways, shippers, national railways, government agencies and road authorities.