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Rail Transport

Published: October 2019


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  • 1.

    Industry structure
    How is the rail transport industry generally structured in your country?

  • 2.

    Ownership and control
    Does the government of your country have an ownership interest in any rail transport companies or another direct role in providing rail transport services?

  • 3.

    Are freight and passenger operations typically controlled by separate companies?

  • 4.

    Regulatory bodies
    Which bodies regulate rail transport in your country, and under what basic laws?

  • 5.

    Regulatory approval
    Is regulatory approval necessary to enter the market as a rail transport provider? What is the procedure for obtaining approval?

  • 6.

    Is regulatory approval necessary to acquire control of an existing rail transport provider? What is the procedure for obtaining approval?

  • 7.

    Is special approval required for rail transport companies to be owned or controlled by foreign entities?

  • 8.

    Is regulatory approval necessary to construct a new rail line? What is the procedure for obtaining approval?

  • 9.

    Discontinuing a service
    What laws govern a rail transport company’s ability to voluntarily discontinue service or to remove rail infrastructure over a particular route?

  • 10.

    On what grounds, and what is the procedure, for the government or a third party to force a rail transport provider to discontinue service over a particular route or to withdraw a rail transport provider’s authorisation to operate? What measures are available for the authorisation holder to challenge the withdrawal of its authorisation to operate?

  • 11.

    Are there sector-specific rules that govern the insolvency of rail transport providers, or do general insolvency rules apply? Must a rail transport provider continue providing service during insolvency?

  • 12.

    Competition rules
    Do general and sector-specific competition rules apply to rail transport?

  • 13.

    Regulator competition responsibilities
    Does the sector-specific regulator have any responsibility for enforcing competition law?

  • 14.

    Competition assessments
    What are the main standards for assessing the competitive effect of a transaction involving rail transport companies?

  • 15.

    Types of regulation
    Are the prices charged by rail carriers for freight transport regulated? How?

  • 16.

    Are the prices charged by rail carriers for passenger transport regulated? How?

  • 17.

    Is there a procedure for freight shippers or passengers to challenge price levels? Who adjudicates those challenges, and what rules apply?

  • 18.

    Must rail transport companies charge similar prices to all shippers and passengers who are requesting similar service?

  • 19.

    Sharing access with other companies
    Must entities controlling rail infrastructure grant network access to other rail transport companies? Are there exceptions or restrictions?

  • 20.

    Access pricing
    Are the prices for granting of network access regulated? How?

  • 21.

    Competitor access
    Is there a declared policy on allowing new market entrants network access or increasing competition in rail transport? What is it?

  • 22.

    Service delivery
    Must rail transport providers serve all customers who request service? Are there exceptions or restrictions?

  • 23.

    Are there legal or regulatory service standards that rail transport companies are required to meet?

  • 24.

    Challenging service
    Is there a procedure for freight shippers or passengers to challenge the quality of service they receive? Who adjudicates those challenges, and what rules apply?

  • 25.

    Types of regulation
    How is rail safety regulated?

  • 26.

    Competent body
    What body has responsibility for regulating rail safety?

  • 27.

    Manufacturing regulations
    What safety regulations apply to the manufacture of rail equipment?

  • 28.

    Maintenance rules
    What rules regulate the maintenance of track and other rail infrastructure?

  • 29.

    What specific rules regulate the maintenance of rail equipment?

  • 30.

    Accident investigations
    What systems and procedures are in place for the investigation of rail accidents?

  • 31.

    Accident liability
    Are there any special rules about the liability of rail transport companies for rail accidents, or does the ordinary liability regime apply?

  • 32.

    Government support
    Does the government or government-controlled entities provide direct or indirect financial support to rail transport companies? What is the nature of such support (eg, loans, direct financial subsidies, or other forms of support)?

  • 33.

    Requesting support
    Are there sector-specific rules governing financial support to rail transport companies and is there a formal process to request such support or to challenge a grant of financial support?

  • 34.

    Applicable labour and employment laws
    Are there specialised labour or employment laws that apply to workers in the rail transport industry, or do standard labour and employment laws apply?

  • 35.

    Applicable environmental laws
    Are there specialised environmental laws that apply to rail transport companies, or do standard environmental laws apply?

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MLT Aikins LLP is a full-service law firm of more than 240 lawyers with a deep commitment to Western Canada and an understanding of this market’s unique legal and business landscapes.

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410, 22nd Street East
Saskatchewan S7K 5T6
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F: +1 306 975 7145


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