Train Whistle Cessation

The City Of New Westminster is committed to achieving train whistle cessation city-wide. While this is an intricate and lengthy process involving multiple levels of government we have made significant progress towards attaining cessation at our two downtown crossings. 

What is the City doing to reduce Train Whistling?

The City of New Westminster is continuously working alongside Provincial and Federal levels of government to make whistle cessation happen. As railways are federally regulated, the City cannot restrict or regulate train whistles. However, the Federal and Provincial Governments have established processes the City can pursue whereby rail companies are directed to cease blowing whistles at specified locations. The City of New Westminster is currently pursuing these measures and will keep residents and businesses informed as the process unfolds.

Whistle Cessation Process

Step 1: Interest for whistling cessation is expressed.

Step 2: Municipality consults with the railway company.

Step 3: Municipality issues notifications and public notice.

Step 4: Municipality and railway assess the crossing(s) against the prescribed requirements in the Grade Crossings Regulations and Standards.

Step 5: Municipality and railway agree that the crossing(s) meets the prescribed requirements of the Grade Crossings Regulations and Standards.

Step 5A (optional): Municipality and railway request a final decision from Transport Canada.

Step 6: Municipality passes a resolution declaring that it agrees that whistles should not be used in that area, thereby prohibiting train whistling.

Step 7: The railway company notifies Transport Canada and informs the municipality within 30 days that it has arranged to have whistling ceased at the crossing(s).

Step 8: Municipality and railway share the responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the conditions that support the cessation of train whistling at the crossing(s).

When will cessation be obtained at all crossings?

The City of New Westminster is committed to achieving cessation city-wide, but it will take a number of years and assistance from other levels of government in order for this to occur. As part of the process, the City has undertaken safety audits at all crossings; however, each crossing comes with its own set of challenges and safety requirements in order to obtain cessation. As a result, cessation will be obtained as the resources and upgrades to the crossings are undertaken.

Crossing Information and Current status

New Westminster has a total of 22 railway crossings in the city; 12 on the mainland and 10 in Queensborough. The City is currently focusing on 13 public crossings to obtain whistle cessation.

  • Primarily operated by: SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 1
    Crossing audit complete: Underway
    Design complete: TBD
    Construction status: TBD
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    This crossing will require major improvement work to create enough area for an automatic signal system to be installed in order to be eligible for whistle cessation.

    This crossing is currently being assessed as part of the Rail Crossing Safety Assessment project which will provide more detailed information for achieving compliance at this crossing and further action items towards whistle cessation eligibility.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

     

  • Primarily operated by: SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 1
    Safety audit complete: Underway
    Design complete: TBD
    Construction status: TBD
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    This crossing requires major improvement work to create enough area for an automatic signal system to be installed in order to be eligible for whistle cessation. The City continues to work with SRY Rail to upgrade this crossing to achieve compliance and be eligible for whistle cessation.

    This crossing is currently being assessed as part of the Rail Crossing Safety Assessment project which will provide more detailed information for achieving compliance at this crossing and further action items towards whistle cessation eligibility.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 1
    Safety audit complete: Underway
    Design complete: TBD
    Construction status: TBD
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    This crossing is currently being assessed as part of the Rail Crossing Safety Assessment project which will provide more detailed information for achieving compliance at this crossing and further action items towards whistle cessation eligibility.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 1
    Safety audit complete: Underway
    Design complete: TBD
    Construction status: TBD
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    This crossing is currently being assessed as part of the Rail Crossing Safety Assessment project which will provide more detailed information for achieving compliance at this crossing and further action items towards whistle cessation eligibility.

    Information last updated June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 1
    Safety audit complete: N/A

    Whistle Cessation has been achieved and has been in effect since December 18, 2020. The City and Railway will continue to monitor and maintain the conditions that support this initiative.

    Minor signage improvements required.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: CN, CP & SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 2
    Safety audit complete: Yes
    Design complete: N/A
    Construction status: N/A
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    The City is working with the Railway Authorities, along with neighboring business (FRPD) to negotiate the ownership of this crossing from public to private. A crossing to be eligible and to achieve whistle cessation on a private crossing has less challenges, and does not require crossing system upgrades.

    We are currently in negotiations with all stakeholders involved.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

     

  • Primarily operated by: SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 1
    Safety audit complete: Yes

    Whistle Cessation will be commencing at this crossing effective December 18, 2020. The City and Railway will continue to monitor and maintain the conditions that support this initiative.

    No further improvements required.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: CN, CP, BNSF, & SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 3
    Safety audit complete: Yes

    Whistle cessation has been achieved at this crossing, and remains achieved. The City and railway will continue to monitor and maintain the conditions that support this initiative.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: CN, CP, BNSF, & SRY
    Number of tracks at crossing: 3
    Safety audit complete: Yes

    Whistle cessation has been achieved at this crossing, and remains achieved. The City and railway will continue to monitor and maintain the conditions that support this initiative.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: CN, CP & BNSF
    Number of tracks at crossing: 2
    Safety audit complete: Yes
    Design complete: Underway
    Construction status: TBD
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    The City is in the process of finalizing the conceptual design for this crossing that will be circulated with the Railway authorities for consideration.

    These improvements will put the crossing in better position to be able to apply for whistle cessation at the crossings, but the improvements alone may not be enough to be eligible to receive cessation. We will continue to push and work with the railways to finalize a design that satisfies all parties involved at these crossings (The City, Railways, Metro Vancouver, etc.).

    The increased safety measurements include (but are not limited to) increase pavement markings, update signage, modify adjacent driveway access, modify existing pedestrian pathway, place additional rail signal equipment, etc.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • Primarily operated by: CN, CP & BNSF
    Number of tracks at crossing: 3
    Safety audit complete: Yes
    Design complete: No
    Construction status: TBD
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    The City is in the process of finalizing the conceptual design for this crossing that will be circulated with the Railway authorities for consideration.

    These improvements will put the crossing in better position to be able to apply for whistle cessation at the crossings, but the improvements alone may not be enough to be eligible to receive cessation. We will continue to push and work with the railways to finalize a design that satisfies all parties involved at these crossings (The City, Railways, TransLink, Metro Vancouver, etc.). 

    The increased safety measurements include (but are not limited to) increase pavement markings, update signage, modify adjacent driveway access, modify existing pedestrian pathway, place additional rail signal equipment, etc.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

     

  • Primarily operated by: CP
    Number of tracks at crossing: 1
    Safety audit complete: Yes
    Design complete: Yes
    Construction status: Underway
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    The City is in the process of completing the Multi-Use-Path connection link on Braid Street, which crosses this rail crossing. Significant upgrades are required at this crossing in-order to accommodate for the future MUP, and these upgrades will assist with this crossing being eligible for whistle cessation.

    Upgrades to this area include a new MUP connection, signage and pavement marking upgrades, placing additional rail signal equipment for pedestrians and cyclists, repaving the roadway, etc.

    The Railway authorities will complete a safety assessment at this crossing once the MUP work has been completed, and all the rail signal equipment has been upgraded.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

     

  • Primarily operated by: CN & BNSF
    Number of tracks at crossing: 4
    Safety audit complete: Yes
    Design complete: Yes
    Construction status:  TBD
    Whistle cessation process: Step 4

    The City is in the process of completing the Multi-Use-Path connection link on Braid Street that crosses this rail crossing (4 tracks). Significant upgrades were required at this crossing in-order to accommodate for the future MUP, and these upgrades will assist with this crossing being eligible for whistle cessation.

    Upgrades to this area include a new MUP connection, signage and pavement marking upgrades, placing additional rail signal equipment for pedestrians and cyclists, repaving the roadway, etc.

    The Railway authorities will complete a safety assessment at this crossing once the MUP work has been completed, and all the rail signal equipment has been upgraded to determine the eligibility of this crossing to achieve cessation.

    Information last updated: June, 2022

  • How do I get involved?
    The Railway Community Advisory Panel, comprised of members from the City, railway companies, and the community formally discuss issues such as whistle cessation. If you would like to attend a meeting or bring a delegation you can contact Legislative Services at 604.527.4523 or  

  •     
  • For more information, please contact:
    Roger Emanuels
    Manager of Design & Construction
    604.527.4540