Unsafe crossing: Railway wants Vye Road closure

Vye Road, one of the most dangerous rail crossings in Canada, will not face a permanent closure until a viable alternative is found.

  • Jun. 1, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Vye Road, one of the most dangerous rail crossings in Canada, will not face a permanent closure until a viable alternative is found.

During Monday’s council meeting, Eric Samuelson, a railway safety manager with the B.C. Safety Authority, spoke about the dangers of the Vye crossing, calling it “one of the unsafest in Canada.”

He said there are numerous instances of conflicts and collisions between the public and the trains on the double tracks near Sumas Way. While CP lines often move their trains through the area, Southern Railway tends to use the tracks for shuttling rail cars and building trains.

While the city continues to pursue construction of a grade-separated crossing on Vye Road, Southern Railway has applied for a permanent closure from 4 to 9 p.m. from Monday to Thursday to address safety concerns.

A “trial” closure began on March 15 for the city to assess the impact on adjoining roads, particularly 4th Avenue.

While traffic doubled, no significant delays were reported.

However, the analysis, from the general manager of infrastructure stimulus projects with the city, noted the issue may be different in the summer when traffic increases.

Council called for further consultation with land owners, local businesses and Southern Rail before implementing a permanent closure.