Upgrades slated for Abbotsford rail crossings

Improvements will allow trains to move through urban core without sounding whistle every time

Two rail crossings at Valley Road are among those slated for improvements

More than two dozen rail crossings across the City of Abbotsford will receive upgrades over the coming years, and eight in the city’s urban core will see improvements to allow trains to stop whistling on every approach.

Last Monday, council approved staff’s plan to apply to the federal government for funding and commit to upgrading 27 different crossings over the next three years.

New rules require rail companies and local jurisdictions to ensure crossings across the country meet federal standards by November 2021. A report for the city has found that fewer than half of the 52 crossings in the city meet federal standards.

Upgrading the crossings is expected to cost the city $1.1 million, although federal funding for up to 80 per cent of the cost is available. Another 14 crossings must be upgraded by the rail companies at no cost to the city.

Further upgrades to eight crossings that will allow trains to pass without being required to sound their whistles every time is expected to cost an additional $1.8 million.

The move would ensure all crossings through the city’s urban development area meet whistle cessation standards. Rail companies will themselves pay to improve four more crossings to whistle cessation standards in 2019.

Improving 21 other crossings in rural areas would cost the city at least another $5.5 million and is not recommended.

A staff report recommends the improvements “to further improve safety and quality of life” in the urban areas. Those upgrades – which would include flashing lights, bells and, possibly, gates – would not be eligible for funding.

The improvements wouldn’t completely silence trains, however, as they still retain the right to whistle at crossings when needed.

“This will go a long way to reducing some of the air horns we hear from the trains in the middle of the night,” Mayor Henry Braun said.

Of the eight crossings requiring improvement, seven are along the SRY line that runs from the border north through the city’s core then, from Clayburn road, west toward Langley. They are at crossings on: Valley Road; Industrial Avenue; Enterprise Avenue; Turner Street; Morey Avenue; 4th Avenue; 2nd Avenue. The other is the CPR crossing at Valley Road.

Just Posted

Bruce Banman to seek Abbotsford South BC Liberal nomination

Former Abbotsford mayor was elected as a councillor last fall

VIDEO: Suspected arson sends five to Abbotsford hospital with smoke inhalation

Man seen throwing flammable substance in van, lighting it on fire next to home

Fraser Valley Bandits drop to 0-3

Abbotsford-based pro basketball team loses 102-88 to Hamilton on Wednesday

Pianist and cellist featured at fundraising concert at The Reach

Concert on Saturday, May 25 at Abbotsford gallery-museum

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Mouat Mudder returns to Abbotsford

Second annual obstacle course race raises funds for Abbotsford Fire Department Charitable Society

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Mother bear, three cubs relocated from Maple Ridge

Silver Valley residents calling for ‘no-kill’ zone.

VIDEO: TransLink to roll out battery-powered bus pilot this summer

Four buses will run a 2.5 year pilot along Marine Drive

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Public warned after man exposes himself to girl, 13, in North Vancouver

RCMP say incident may be linked to others that happened last year

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Most Read