Derail device

Lockable metal device prevents unauthorized movement of rolling stock from entering a dangerous goods loading rack, spur or mainline track.


A derail device is permanently attached to a hard wood tie that will allow the derail to be opened or closed over one rail.

Service providers are required to install derails to protect their mainline track.

Using a derail device

The facility that is loading or unloading dangerous goods from a railway vehicle must develop procedures for the use of the derail.

Dangerous goods

Rolling stock must be protected during the loading or unloading of dangerous goods by a derail or a switch that is locked and controlled by the facility. The derail must be located at a minimum distance of one car length from the tank car on the connected end(s) of the track.

See the Transport Canada TP 14877, Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail, Section 10.6.2 (c) – Conditions, for more information.

Non-dangerous goods

The use of a derail is encouraged for the protection of personnel working around any rail equipment during the loading and unloading of non-dangerous goods and any time personnel are working on or around a railway vehicle.


When installing a derail on facility track, the rail service provider should be consulted to determine the best location.

Loading and unloading facilities are responsible for locking and unlocking company owned derails.

A yellow sign with the words (in vertical) "DERAIL" must be erected beside the derail. Personnel must be trained in the use of a derail and a company policy must be developed and implemented on the use of a derail.

Only after the facility has removed their lock will railway personnel disengage the derail to allow for movement over the track.

Contact your rail service provider or a rail maintenance contractor to obtain a derail.

Notify about installation

You must notify your service provider at least 2 weeks before the derail is installed.

Installation contacts

Risk Management Officer at Canadian National:

Phone: 780-472-3941

Area Service Manager at Canadian Pacific Railway:

Phone: 403-303-8727