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.