CN Community Awareness

Welcome to the CN Railway Community Awareness page. This page is to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone, along with helpful pictures, resources, and links you may need in the event you are reporting something to CN.

One of the main questions asked is:

Why do trains whistle? 

A: While we understand that whistling may be disturbing at times, CN is federally regulated and governed by Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR) which mandate whistling regulations.  Under CROR, Rule 14 (l), train crews are required to whistle at all public crossings.  Train whistles are safety devices that alert motorists and pedestrians to the presence of an approaching train and warn trespassers away from the rail right-of-way. 

Locomotive engineers follow a detailed set of instructions under the CROR that outline when a whistle must be sounded and the whistling sequence to be used.  Train crews will also use the whistle if there is a work project in the area to notify the work gang on or near the track that a train is approaching.  In certain circumstances, a particular crossing  may be exempt from whistling requirements.  


In case of emergency, motorists are encouraged to contact the CN Police Emergency Number — 1.800.465.9239 — which is posted at every public crossing on our network. In addition to the phone number, the sign includes the CN subdivision name and mileage point.

This information may be used by emergency responders as well as the public to report an emergency. This phone number is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

CN Public Inquiry Line is the central point of contact for the public  1 888-888-5909.  These inquiries may include noise, train whistling, crossing condition, property maintenance.

How to stay in contact with CN:

Being on Railway property including its right of ways is both dangerous and against the law.  The use of off high vehicles –snowmobiles, ATV’s, taking a shortcut is trespassing and you could be charged under the “Trespass to property Act 3(1) (a)” which is a $250.00 fine.



  • Pay attention to your surroundings and don’t drive distracted.
  • Always stop at the railway stop line or no closer than 5 m from the crossing.
  • When the lights at a crossing begin to flash this means to stop – not accelerate to beat the train.
  • If there are multiple tracks, there might be multiple trains.  Wait until the gates are completely up and the lights STOP flashing.
  • At crossings only protected by a cross buck, you must stop if the train is within 500m.
  • At crossings with cross bucks and flashing red lights, you must stop and only proceed when the train has cleared and lights stop flashing
  • Any time is train time.   Trains do not run on a schedule.  They can run at any time, on any track, and come from either direction. Look, Listen, and Live.
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