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
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: Achieved preliminary design concept
    Construction Status: anticipated for 2018
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: SRY has retained a consultant to undertake design works. Currently, they are in the alternative design stage. Once a design has been agreed upon the City will meet with SRY to review. 

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017
  • Primarily Operated By: SRY
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: No
    Construction Status: anticipated for 2018
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: SRY has retained a consultant to undertake design works. Currently, they are in the alternative design stage. Once a design has been agreed upon the City will meet with SRY to review.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: SRY
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: No
    Construction Status: anticipated for 2018
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: SRY has retained a consultant to undertake design works. Currently, they are in the alternative design stage. Once a design has been agreed upon the City will meet with SRY to review.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: SRY
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: No
    Construction Status: anticipated for 2018
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: SRY has retained a consultant to undertake design works. Currently, they are in the alternative design stage. Once a design has been agreed upon the City will meet with SRY to review.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: SRY
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: No
    Construction Status: anticipated for 2018
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 6

    Comments: The City has completed the required upgrades to attain cessation at this crossing. SRY is currently working with BC Safety to enact cessation at this crossing.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017
     

  • Primarily Operated By: SRY
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: Yes
    Construction Status: Spring/Summer 2017
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 6

    Comments: The City has completed the required upgrades to attain cessation at this crossing. SRY is currently working with BC Safety to enact cessation at this crossing.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: SRY
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: Yes
    Construction Status: Fall/Winter 2017
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 6

    Comments: The City and SRY will be meeting with the Quayside community in spring 2017 to outline details of this crossing. Equipment delivery is expected to take 4-8 months once ordered.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: CN
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: Yes
    Construction Status: Complete
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 6

    Comments: The City has passed a resolution declaring that it agrees that whistles should not be used at this crossing and have sent letters to Transport Canada, the Rail Companies and stakeholders advising to move forward with cessation.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: CN
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: Yes
    Construction Status: Complete
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 6

    Comments: The City has passed a resolution declaring that it agrees that whistles should not be used at this crossing and have sent letters to Transport Canada, the Rail Companies and stakeholders advising to move forward with cessation.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: CP
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: Yes
    Construction Status: Expected for Spring 2017
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: Only minor work, including site line and signage improvements, needs to be undertaken to meet requirements for cessation. The City anticipates starting these upgrades in spring 2017.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: CP
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: No
    Construction Status: TBD
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: The Safety Audit at this location identified a number of complex safety issues with respect to pedestrian trespass into the rail right of way from the Sapperton Skytrain Station. The City is currently exploring options to provide an elevator from the Skytrain station.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: CP
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: Yes
    Construction Status: TBD
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: The Canadian Pacific Railway have installed gates at this crossing which are anticipated to be operational in early 2017. However, Transport Canada has expressed concern regarding traffic queuing across the tracks. Due to traffic congestion and access issues along the corridor, cessation will not be possible until these issues can be addressed.  Solutions to these issues are being looked at in conjunction with possible major highway improvements as part of the future Brunette Interchange.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • Primarily Operated By: CN
    Safety Audit Complete: Yes
    Design Complete: No
    Construction Status:  TBD
    Whistle Cessation Process: Step 2

    Comments: A number of complex safety issues were identified in the Safety Audit for this crossing as there are multiple tracks which involve shunting operations. Similar to the CP Crossing high traffic volumes cause traffic to que across these tracks. Solutions to these issues are being looked at in conjunction with possible major highway improvements as part of the future Brunette Interchange.

    Information Last Updated: February 15, 2017

  • 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  

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