TORONTO — Transport Canada is ordering Canadian Pacific to change the way it treats its crews on runs through British Columbia so they can get more rest.
A safety inspector for the Canadian agency sent a letter to the railway last week saying that train crews can’t get proper sleep and are unable to predict work schedules.
Locations in western Canada the inspector says suffer from “excessive fatigue” include Roberts Bank, Kamloops, and Coquitlam.
Transport Canada ordered CP to tend to the problem by:
- Allowing crews to rest when the trains they are called for are cancelled.
- Improve accuracy for train line-ups, so crews can predict their next shift.
- Travel time from railroad rest facilities to terminals would be included in the calculation of a crew’s on-duty time.
The agency reviewed working conditions at the railroad after multiple crew members complained about working extended service between Kamloops and Vancouver.
This is the first enforcement action by the Canadian rail regulators to what they call an “imminent threat.”
Martin Cej, the vice president of communications for CP told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that the railroad will immediately comply with the order.
“CP has been taking steps to ensure crew members take more rest, but union collective agreements have been a barrier to change,” Cej says.
He later told the CBC that crews are not on call day and night, and they often have unused opportunities to schedule rest.