It took a few years for safety upgrades at rail crossings east of Chilliwack to be completed to stop the neighbourhood disturbance of loud train whistles.
Now City of Chilliwack is entering into the formal “whistle cessation” process with the railway company, which is expected to give residents of East Chilliwack some relief by some time in the new year.
Council approved a motion Tuesday (Dec. 7) requesting whistle cessation for three rail crossings: on Upper Prairie Road (mile 67.35) Banford Road (mile 69.27) and Gibson Road (mile 68.35).
Train whistles are required whenever CN Rail personnel are approaching a public grade crossing that hasn’t been upgraded. The whistling regularly leads to complaints from residents.
City staff have the option to work with CN Rail staff to complete safety improvements at the crossings, and then apply for whistle cessation.
The work to install gates and crossing warning systems at the three most recent locations was completed in 2018, with city officials and CN reps trading correspondence, to confirm the work was in compliance with the rules.
The process has been ongoing for many years. In 2017, council declared that train whistles would no longer be heard at crossings on McGrath Road (Mile 64.95), Ford Road (Mile 65.10), and Nevin Road (Mile 65.32) in Rosedale. It took from 2008 to 2016 approximately to negotiate the end to the ear-piercing whistles in those cases.
City of Chilliwack has received grant funding for this work previously, but upgrades required to meet standards for anti-whistling at the first three Rosedale crossings were not eligible for grants. Several other crossing locations are already whistle-free such as Annis Road, Prest Road and Young Road.
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