Train whistles to be silenced in Rosedale

Chilliwack council was set to vote Tuesday afternoon on spending $325,000 for improvements at three noisy rail crossings

Train whistles at rail crossings in Chilliwack have long been an irritant, generating numerous complaint calls to city hall over the years.

City of Chilliwack reps have worked to negotiate “anti-whistling” agreements at several local crossings, once all the safety criteria and conditions have been met.

Next up for consideration are the noisy rail crossings in Rosedale at McGrath Road, Ford Road and Nevin Road.

Council was set to vote Tuesday on spending $325,000 for improvements at the three crossings with rail crossing signal upgrades. In the past they’ve received grant funding for this work but the improvements required to meet standards for anti-whistling at the Rosedale crossings “are not eligible for Federal grants,” according to the staff report.

“Railway has been very slow to respond to our information requests” for anti-whistling upgrading estimates for the three crossings in question, according to city staff.

The upgrades are required in order “to secure Transport Canada approval for whistle cessation” at those crossings, and several other locations are now whistle-free such as Annis Road, Prest Road or Young Road.

New cost estimates from CN, indicate for McGrath Road upgrades, it will cost 249,200, and for Nevin Road, $42,800, while Ford Road is at zero, for a subtotal of $292,000.

Other project costs for signage, fencing and road marking bring the estimated total to $325,000 for the three crossing upgrades, but since “funding for this project has not been specifically included in the 2015 provisional budget,” it would mean that other road rehab projects might get rescheduled, according to the staff report.