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 rail companies and various government agencies, we have made significant progress towards attaining cessation. So far, we have achieved cessation at four crossings. 

What is the City doing to reduce Train Whistling?

Most railways are federally regulated, so the City of New Westminster does not have the authority to restrict or regulate train whistles. Following processes established by Transport Canada, the City is working with the  rail companies to cease whistle blowing at specified locations. The City is actively pursuing these measures at several crossings and will keep residents and businesses informed of the progress.

Whistle Cessation Process

Step 1: Interest for whistling cessation is expressed.

Step 2: Municipality consults with the rail companies that operate at the crossing about whether the request is feasible.

Step 3: Municipality gives public notice of intent to ask the rail companies to stop whistle blowing.

Step 4: Municipality and rail companies assess the crossing(s) against the prescribed requirements in the Grade Crossings Regulations and Standards and construct the necessary improvements.

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

Step 5A (optional): Municipality and rail companies 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.

Step 7: The rail companies notify Transport Canada, issue special instructions to train operators to stop whistling, and inform the municipality within 30 days that the arrangements have been made for whistling to cease at the crossing(s).

Step 8: Municipality and rail companies 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, cooperation from all the rail companies that operate at a crossing, 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. Each crossing comes with its own set of challenges and safety requirements, and cessation can only be obtained after any required upgrades are made.

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 companies, along with the neighboring business (FRPD), to change the designation of this crossing from public to private. Private crossings have less eligibility challenges for whistle cessation, as it would not require a crossing system upgrade.

    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, which will be circulated with the Railway companies for consideration.

    Increased safety measurements include: more pavement markings; updated signage; modifying adjacent driveway access and pedestrian pathways; adding more rail signal equipment; and more.

    These improvements will put the crossing in a better position to be able to apply for whistle cessation, though the improvements alone may not be enough to make the crossing eligible for cessation. We will continue to work with the Railways to finalize a design that satisfies all involved parties.

    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, which will be circulated with the Railway companies for consideration.

    Increased safety measurements include: more pavement markings; updated signage; modifying adjacent driveway access and pedestrian pathways; adding more rail signal equipment; and more.

    These improvements will put the crossing in a better position to be able to apply for whistle cessation, though the improvements alone may not be enough to make the crossing eligible for cessation. We will continue to work with the Railways to finalize a design that satisfies all involved parties.

    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  

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