Train on tracks with mountains in the background

CSA Group publishes new technical specification to address Enhanced Train Control interoperability

Document provides guidelines to help maintain interoperability amidst the implementation of ETC in Canada

Interoperability between railway companies that operate on the same tracks, platforms, and signaling systems is critical to rail safety. 

The rapid evolution of railway technology has introduced new methods for interoperability; interconnecting wayside equipment and locomotives. One of these methods is Enhanced Train Control (ETC), a safety system that provides the train operator with increased situational awareness and protection. ETC systems consist of several components that communicate with each other to provide functionality for safety, aiming to reduce the risk of train-to-train collisions, over speeding, misaligned track switches, and unauthorized entry into work zones. Transport Canada has proposed a path forward for the implementation of ETC in Canada, with the potential to significantly improve railway safety. However, ETC is currently used separately from other methods of traffic control, which presents challenges to train interoperability.

To address this, CSA Group was commissioned by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), with support from Transport Canada, to develop 

"Guidelines for Enhanced Train Control Interoperability". The document specifies guidelines for suppliers, railway companies, and contractors with regards to ETC interoperability, addressing the need for foreign and tenant locomotives to seamlessly transition into a host railway's network.


“Canada's railway technology is rapidly advancing, enhancing interoperability, and promising safer and more efficient train operations,” says Brent Hartman, Director, Fuels and Transportation Standards, CSA Group. “The development of technical guidance is instrumental in enhancing the adoption of these innovations, paving the way for future developments that will benefit the entire rail industry.”

“Standardization is highly beneficial to supporting interoperability of evolving technologies. says Pierre Bilodeau, VP, Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement Branch, SCC. “This guidance will help secure the safety and sustainability of the rail networks that Canadians rely on.” 

This is the first edition of CSA TS-604, Guidelines for Enhanced Train Control Interoperability. It was prepared by the Working Group on TS-604 managed by CSA Group and has been reviewed by external subject matter experts as part of the public review process.

Media may contact:
CSA Group
Claire Brassard
+1- 647-631-4712