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Train Anti-Whistling

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Whistle Cessation on Stouffville GO Line

Updated November 6, 2017

The Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR) requires all trains to whistle whenever they approach a public grade crossing. While train whistling is an important way to keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe, these whistles can be a bother to people living nearby. Markham Council supports the elimination of train whistles to address concerns raised by local residents.

To eliminate train whistling, Markham has to follow an eight-step process as outlined in Transport Canada's Procedure for Train Whistling at Public Grade Crossings in order to meet the requirements of the Federal Railway Safety Act and Regulation. The procedure requires the railway companies and road authorities - in this case, the City of Markham, York Region and Metrolinx - to collaborate in finding the best option for making the crossings safe.

It is important to note that even when Metrolinx approves cessation of whistling at grade crossings, the whistling may be used for other CROR requirements or at the train engineers’ sole discretion if there is an emergency.

Progress Update

At a January 2016 Development Services Committee meeting, City staff were authorized by Markham Council to proceed with the detailed design of safety upgrade works required to implement whistle cessation at 13 crossings in the Markham urban area from Kennedy Road to Major Mackenzie Drive (see the map below).

In July 2016, the City retained WSP/MMM Group as a consultant for the detailed design and contract administration services of the safety upgrade works. Considering the complexity of the design works, the 13 at- grade crossings are separated into 3 (three) packages to expedite the design, approval and construction works:

Package No.
Crossing Name (Crossing #)
Design Status
Anticipated Construction Timeline
Eureka Street (6)
Kennedy Road –North (8)
Main Street Markham (11)
Castlemore Avenue (14) Major Mackenzie Dr. E (15)
Completed and approved by Metrolinx.
Tender awarded.

Construction starts: early October 2017.

Anticipated completion: December 2017.
Highway 7 (5)
Main Street Unionville (7)
McCowan Road (9)
Snider Drive (10)
16th Ave (12)
Bur Oak Avenue (13)
60% design completed. 90% design completed. Anticipated approval by Metrolinx: mid/late November 2017.
Anticipated tender award: late November or early December 2017.

Anticipated completion: to be updated
Kennedy Road –South (2)
Denison Street (3)
To be updated
Spring 2018 to Summer 2018

(Note: These timelines are subject to change and will be updated from time to time)

Uxbridge Train Line Map

The 13 crossings to be upgraded are crossing numbers 2, 3, and 5 to 15 as identified in the map above.

What’s New

At the November 21, 2016 Development Services Committee meeting, City staff were directed to review and report on the three rural crossings on Stouffville GO Line, in Markham (Elgin Mills Road, 9th Line and 19th Ave) that may be appropriate for whistle cessation. Staff will look at options to accelerate the detailed design.

Work Plan

(Updated November 2017)

Actions Timing
Finalize safety reports and receive York Region, Metrolinx and Transport Canada final concurrence on crossing upgrades Completed
Prepare design terms of reference and consult with Metrolinx and York Region Completed
Negotiate partnership and funding principles for design Completed
Award detailed design assignment
Award Construction of Package 1
Execute agreements or Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for design and construction with partners November 2017
Award of Construction of Package 2
December 2017
Execute agreements or Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for Operation & Maintenance of grade crossing features with partners
January/February ** 2018
Anticipated Tender and Construction Timeline See above in Progress Update Section
Execute the whistle cessation Liability/Insurance/Indemnity agreements with Metrolinx Early 2018
Passing of Anti-whistling by-law by Council Spring 2018
Public Education Program
Prior to whistle cessation

**Does not affect schedule for whistle cessation.

News, Resources & Information

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