Complaints about rail noise and vibration

The Canada Transportation Act authorizes the Agency to resolve complaints about noise and vibration related to construction or operations by:

  1. federal freight railways or
  2. public passenger service providers (including urban transit authorities). 

The Agency cannot help with complaints concerning provincially-regulated railway companies.

We can help with noise and/or vibration from:

  • passing trains;
  • idling locomotives;
  • shunting;
  • whistling (in certain circumstances);
  • compression or "stretching" of trains (impulse noise); and
  • any noise and vibration produced during the construction and operation of a railway.

I have a noise and vibration complaint. What should I do?

You should consult your municipal government for information and expertise that could help you resolve your complaint; and

You must contact the railway company and attempt to collaboratively resolve the issue together.

Our Guidelines for the Resolution of Complaints Over Railway Noise and Vibration explain how the collaborative approach works and what steps you need to take.This collaborative process makes it more likely for parties to reach an acceptable and effective long-term solution. 

The parties must have tried and exhausted collaborative measures before the Agency can investigate a complaint. These measures are expected to be completed within 60 days of the railway receiving a written complaint. 

How will the Agency handle my complaint?

Disputes about noise and vibration may be handled through facilitationmediation or adjudication.

For facilitation and mediation, both parties must agree to participate in the process.

For adjudication, the Agency will collect information (pleadings) from both sides and issue a ruling.

How can I file an application?

Please follow the process outlined in the Guidelines for the Resolution of Complaints Over Railway Noise and Vibration.

Remember, you must provide evidence that you've tried and exhausted collaborative measures before filing an application about rail noise and vibration.