Markham

Markham one of the first in GTA to silence over 1600 train whistle sounds per day

Monday, February 24, 2020

News Page


MARKHAM, ONFebruary 24, 2020 — The City of Markham, in partnership with Metrolinx and the Regional Municipality of York announced upgraded safety features and the end of mandatory train whistling at 13 Markham rail crossings from Steeles Avenue to Major Mackenzie Drive East.

"The Whistle Cessation Program has been a top priority for the City of Markham for years," said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "My personal commitment to this project goes back to 2008, before it received widespread attention, when Markham Council commissioned a Whistle Cessation Feasibility Study. I advocated for significant funding for the Whistle Cessation Program which was approved by Markham Council and we have been working extensively with Metrolinx to improve our rail-crossing infrastructure in the name of safety for all commuters and residents. This is a complex, multi-jurisdictional project where we had to adhere to changes in federal regulations and we are now proud to be one of the first municipalities in the GTA to silence train horns under the new federal regulations."

“Metrolinx is enhancing service along the Stouffville corridor providing all-day GO service to meet the needs of growing communities,” said Phil Verster, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “We understand that more train service means more whistles, which is why we have worked closely with the City of Markham and the Regional Municipality of York to reduce noise impacts to the community from train whistling, while maintaining the highest level of safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. Metrolinx is committed to providing exceptional and reliable service to Markham and we will now be able to deliver our services with reduced noise disruptions.”

Trains have to whistle when approaching any public road crossing under the Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR). To eliminate train whistling, the City of Markham followed Metrolinx’s procedure for Train Whistling at Public Grade Crossings to meet the requirements of the Federal Railway Safety Act and Regulation. This required the railway companies and road authorities - in this case, the City of Markham, the Regional Municipality of York and Metrolinx - to collaborate in finding the best option for making the crossings safe.

The City of Markham has implemented all mandatory upgrades as well as additional safety measures to 13 existing rail-crossings in Markham. Each crossing is now equipped with either maze barriers or pedestrian warning gates, and further supported by tactile walking plates, visual signage and bells in order to meet Metrolinx’s safety requirements. These fully accessible pedestrian warning systems advise pedestrians, motorists and cyclists of approaching trains and assist in keeping them safe.

The Whistle Cessation Project cost a total of $6 million and was jointly funded by the City of Markham and the Regional Municipality of York. For more information, visit Markham.ca/antiwhistling

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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office:
Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Jennifer Yap, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations at jyap@markham.ca or 437.229.2450.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.


MARKHAM, ONFebruary 24, 2020 — The City of Markham, in partnership with Metrolinx and the Regional Municipality of York announced upgraded safety features and the end of mandatory train whistling at 13 Markham rail crossings from Steeles Avenue to Major Mackenzie Drive East.

"The Whistle Cessation Program has been a top priority for the City of Markham for years," said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "My personal commitment to this project goes back to 2008, before it received widespread attention, when Markham Council commissioned a Whistle Cessation Feasibility Study. I advocated for significant funding for the Whistle Cessation Program which was approved by Markham Council and we have been working extensively with Metrolinx to improve our rail-crossing infrastructure in the name of safety for all commuters and residents. This is a complex, multi-jurisdictional project where we had to adhere to changes in federal regulations and we are now proud to be one of the first municipalities in the GTA to silence train horns under the new federal regulations."

“Metrolinx is enhancing service along the Stouffville corridor providing all-day GO service to meet the needs of growing communities,” said Phil Verster, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “We understand that more train service means more whistles, which is why we have worked closely with the City of Markham and the Regional Municipality of York to reduce noise impacts to the community from train whistling, while maintaining the highest level of safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. Metrolinx is committed to providing exceptional and reliable service to Markham and we will now be able to deliver our services with reduced noise disruptions.”

Trains have to whistle when approaching any public road crossing under the Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR). To eliminate train whistling, the City of Markham followed Metrolinx’s procedure for Train Whistling at Public Grade Crossings to meet the requirements of the Federal Railway Safety Act and Regulation. This required the railway companies and road authorities - in this case, the City of Markham, the Regional Municipality of York and Metrolinx - to collaborate in finding the best option for making the crossings safe.

The City of Markham has implemented all mandatory upgrades as well as additional safety measures to 13 existing rail-crossings in Markham. Each crossing is now equipped with either maze barriers or pedestrian warning gates, and further supported by tactile walking plates, visual signage and bells in order to meet Metrolinx’s safety requirements. These fully accessible pedestrian warning systems advise pedestrians, motorists and cyclists of approaching trains and assist in keeping them safe.

The Whistle Cessation Project cost a total of $6 million and was jointly funded by the City of Markham and the Regional Municipality of York. For more information, visit Markham.ca/antiwhistling

– 30 –

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office:
Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Jennifer Yap, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations at jyap@markham.ca or 437.229.2450.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.