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Meeting Canada’s New Grade Crossing Regulations


In order to evaluate the effects of the proposed changes to the Railway Safety Act, the City of Vancouver (City) asked MMM Group to use the Rupert Street grade crossing to evaluate the effects and challenges of meeting these new Grade Crossing Regulations (Regulations) at all City grade crossings.
The proposed Grade Crossing Regulations require that Railway Companies and Road Authorities share information about public grade crossings within five years of the coming into force of the Regulations. In addition, Railway Companies and Road Authorities would be responsible for ensuring that all grade crossings meet the Basic Requirements prescribed in the Regulations within five years of the coming into force of the Regulations. Given that there are more than 14,000 public grade crossings across Canada, this represents a significant investment in time, expertise, and money.
Rupert Street is a four-lane secondary arterial that carries more than 28,500 vehicles per day. Two tracks of CN Rail’s New Westminster Subdivision cross Rupert Street at an active crossing equipped with flashing lights, bells, and gates (FLBG). About six trains use this crossing on a typical day. The high level of vehicle activity at this crossing is exacerbated by the pedestrians, cyclists and transit passengers using the adjacent Rupert SkyTrain Station and BC Parkway multi-use trail.
Based on the Rupert Street findings, MMM advised the City as to what information is needed, and how best to collect it, for Vancouver’s more than 100 grade crossings. MMM also provided cost estimates for gathering the various pieces of information for a typical Vancouver grade crossing to assist with budget planning.
This paper will:

Identify the types of information (i.e. information on the 40 data fields) that need to be collected, as well as the methods and/or sources for capturing the required location and technical data;
Summarize the road-rail parameters and information that needs to be collected and shared between Responsible Authorities, in this instance the City of Vancouver and CN Rail; and
Present order of magnitude cost estimates for completing the data collection and processing that will assist the Road Authorities with budget planning.

As a result of the information that MMM provided about Grade Crossing Information, how best to collect it, and the associated costs; Road Authorities are in a position to proactively address changes to Canada’s Grade Crossing Regulations.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Road Safety Policy Development - Past, Present, Future (A)
van Weelderen, F.
Road safety