Rail crossing study

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Information session - What does the Edinburgh rail crossing recommendation mean? June 20, 6:30 - 7:30 PM

The City of Guelph hosted a virtual open house on June 1 to share the findings of the transportation study for five road-level rail crossings in Guelph. The technical memo on grade separations shows conceptual underpass and overpass designs and their potential property impacts.

This is the second of two City staff follow-up sessions to address questions and comments related to the Edinburgh rail crossing specifically.

Meeting time Monday, June 22, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Join the conversation at https://bit.ly/Edinburghrailcrossing

Password if prompted is Trains

Have your say

View our virtual public open house to learn about the draft results of our transportation study, and to ask questions and provide comments. View the presentation boards or the video recording posted in the video widget on the left of this page in advance if you wish.

Tell us what you think of our engagement process overall by taking the survey below.

The Study

We've initiated a transportation study to explore the transportation impacts on five road-level railway crossings along the Metrolinx corridor. This work supports planned Metrolinx service expansion along the Kitchener GO rail line through Guelph including all-day two-way GO service. While Metrolinx is indicating they do not plan on closing any more crossings, we continued with our study because we want to preserve connectivity and ensure it aligns with our transportation goals now and into the future.

This is a City of Guelph-led project, and the results will be shared with Metrolinx when the study is complete.

The rail crossings we’re looking at are:

  • Alma Street between Crimea and Inkerman streets
  • Edinburgh Road between Foster Avenue and Preston/Inkerman streets
  • Yorkshire Street between Foster Avenue and Preston Street
  • Glasgow Street at Kent Street
  • Watson Road just north of York Road

The study will also look at and assess options for active transportation (e.g. footbridge) connection across the rail line at Cityview Drive. As a result of the engagement, we have added the assessment of options for active transportation at Margaret Green park and Dublin Street.

To find the best solution for each crossing we’ll look at the unique context of each one and our city’s overall transportation network. For example, we’ll need to consider how closing one rail crossing would affect traffic flow at another and in the local area. Some options may not be possible to implement for every crossing.

What is the process moving forward?

  • The current open house comment period ends June 29.
  • The next step is to commence an EA in 2023. Through a Schedule C Municipal Class EA, we will continue refining and exploring options in close consultation with the community. Options include do nothing and various design alternatives for grade separating. A recommendation will be brought forth to City Council in 2024 or 2025 for decision.
  • It is possible the do nothing option is selected with no property impacts.

Information session - What does the Edinburgh rail crossing recommendation mean? June 20, 6:30 - 7:30 PM

The City of Guelph hosted a virtual open house on June 1 to share the findings of the transportation study for five road-level rail crossings in Guelph. The technical memo on grade separations shows conceptual underpass and overpass designs and their potential property impacts.

This is the second of two City staff follow-up sessions to address questions and comments related to the Edinburgh rail crossing specifically.

Meeting time Monday, June 22, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Join the conversation at https://bit.ly/Edinburghrailcrossing

Password if prompted is Trains

Have your say

View our virtual public open house to learn about the draft results of our transportation study, and to ask questions and provide comments. View the presentation boards or the video recording posted in the video widget on the left of this page in advance if you wish.

Tell us what you think of our engagement process overall by taking the survey below.

The Study

We've initiated a transportation study to explore the transportation impacts on five road-level railway crossings along the Metrolinx corridor. This work supports planned Metrolinx service expansion along the Kitchener GO rail line through Guelph including all-day two-way GO service. While Metrolinx is indicating they do not plan on closing any more crossings, we continued with our study because we want to preserve connectivity and ensure it aligns with our transportation goals now and into the future.

This is a City of Guelph-led project, and the results will be shared with Metrolinx when the study is complete.

The rail crossings we’re looking at are:

  • Alma Street between Crimea and Inkerman streets
  • Edinburgh Road between Foster Avenue and Preston/Inkerman streets
  • Yorkshire Street between Foster Avenue and Preston Street
  • Glasgow Street at Kent Street
  • Watson Road just north of York Road

The study will also look at and assess options for active transportation (e.g. footbridge) connection across the rail line at Cityview Drive. As a result of the engagement, we have added the assessment of options for active transportation at Margaret Green park and Dublin Street.

To find the best solution for each crossing we’ll look at the unique context of each one and our city’s overall transportation network. For example, we’ll need to consider how closing one rail crossing would affect traffic flow at another and in the local area. Some options may not be possible to implement for every crossing.

What is the process moving forward?

  • The current open house comment period ends June 29.
  • The next step is to commence an EA in 2023. Through a Schedule C Municipal Class EA, we will continue refining and exploring options in close consultation with the community. Options include do nothing and various design alternatives for grade separating. A recommendation will be brought forth to City Council in 2024 or 2025 for decision.
  • It is possible the do nothing option is selected with no property impacts.

Your questions

Do you have a question for us about the Rail Crossing Study or any of the crossings in the study? Ask us here? We will do our best to answer you within 3 business days. 

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    This question was originally asked in the comments section: What was the cost of the study ? Did the City pay?

    13 days ago

    The feasibility and transportation study was awarded to Parsons consulting. The total contract value for this work is $142, 233. Council approved a budget for this study and the Environmental Assessment prior to 2019.

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    This question was originally asked in the comments section: Will the city consider lobbying Metrolinx and - if necessary - the federal government to allow such well-established, engineering solutions of grade level crossings, to be acceptable under the Transportation Act so that they can be used and installed as safe measures for all the level crossings in Guelph? Perhaps Guelph can be a pilot project to establish the use of such safe grade level crossing gates?

    13 days ago

    The intent of this study is to inform the City's position when it comes to discussions with Metrolinx on any future rail crossing changes. The recommendations of this report are the first step and already give the City valuable data and input from the community for the local road crossings. Edinburgh Road is flagged for further study because the feasibility and transportation findings indicate some potential safety and traffic concerns. The EA process will identify all potential solutions to mitigate those safety concerns, including keepign it at-grade with improvements, and various configurations of underpass options, and will ask Council to decide on the preferred option. The EA will start in 2023, and will likely take up to 2 years to complete.

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    This question was originally recieved in the comments section: Is it correct that heavy delivery trucks are not supposed to drive along Alma? If so, how will the Guelph Food Bank receive its delivery, how will the other businesses along Crimea St. be delivered if the city dead ends Crimea St. at Edinburgh? As far as I can tell, 65' delivery trucks only drive into and out of Crimea St. at Edinburgh! What is your proposed alte

    13 days ago

    The rail crossing study underway is the earliest stage of determining if and where grade separation between road and rail should be considered for the whole Metrolinx corridor through Guelph. Specific impacts, such as truck access on local streets, have not been studied yet in detail. With this study recommending further review of Edinbrugh Road, we will explore all potential crossing options in greater detail through a Municipal Class EA. We expect to start that study in 2023.  

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    This question was originally received in the comments section: The proposed diagram for the Edinburgh Road underpass requires a great deal of clarification. 1. What is the exact nature and extend of impacts to the orange-highlighted properties? Are we talking loss of driveway access, outright appropriation, or something in between? Appropriation and demolition of homes for what appears to be a temporary road while construction is underway seems woefully shortsighted -- these are century homes in a historic neighborhood. 1a. Loss of driveway access. While a city laneway remains on the books for the homes between Preston and Galt streets, it was last used a century ago, is currently inaccessible at one end, as homeowners have extended fencing across it, and the old retaining walls from the 1920s are crumbing and would need to be restored before it could safely handle vehicle traffic again. 2. If Preston, Foster, Robinson all dead end to traffic, will active transport be maintained along Edinburgh for foot and cycle traffic? Sunny Acres Park is a primary reason for many young families to live within the neighborhood that bears its name, and for the west half of Preston in particular, a lack of active transport along Edinburgh would mean a significant detour down to Yorkshire. A better-annotated plan with possible scenarios would be appreciated.

    13 days ago

    The exact nature and extent of property impacts is not known at this time. The 'orange highlighted properties" represent one very conceptual design sketch for an underpass simply as a way to estimate comparative impacts between an underpass, an overpass, and keeping it at-grade. No design decisions have been made at this stage, so there is no confirmed property imapct.  

    Through a Schedule C Municipal Class EA, we will continue refining and exploring options in close consultation with the community. The EA process includes evaluating all the options against a list of criteria, including impact on natural and cultural environment (e.g. heritage homes, business impacts, trees, etc), impacts to the road network and traffic circulation, impacts to private property, construction costs. Through this process, we would develop a more detailed understanding of these issues specific to the Edinbugh Road area and intersecting streets.  

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    This question was originally asked in the comments section: Can you tell us whether the Edinburgh underpass for the Metrolinx corridor is part of the City's new Transportation Master Plan?

    13 days ago

    The Transportation Master Plan (TMP) does identify studying a rail grade separation for Edinburgh Road. In the final TMP report, you can find details on page 126:

     "3.1.  Continue to provide rail service to industrial areas and protect neighbourhoods The City recognizes the need for railway freight transportation within and through the City to be safe, sustainable, and efficient. The following policies are recommended for rail service in Guelph. 3.1.1.  The City will continue to minimize road/rail conflict wherever possible. In light of the potential for significant environmental, social and cost impacts associated with grade separating rail and road crossings, the City will follow Transport Canada Grade Separation Assessment Guidelines. The City has identified the potential for a road/rail grade separation at the following locations: 

    a)  At Silvercreek Parkway and Canadian National Railway grade;

    b)  At Edinburgh Road and the GO rail line; and 

    c)  At the intersections of the Guelph Junction Railway with Woodlawn Road and Edinburgh Road. These locations should be subject to further study to determine if and how grade separation is provided."

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    This question was originally asked in the comments section: I was not able to attend the meeting but thank you for access to the presentation boards. Can you also please provide information (in the form of a interim report?) on the methodology for scoring and ranking, and the methodology (and results) for evaluating the effects on specific criteria, including, for example, effects on property. The presentation boards are a nice summary but the details behind the summary should be made available well before the closing date for comments

    13 days ago

    A reasoned and rationalized approach was used to evaluate the seven scenarios. This is not a quantitative approach where we assign numerical values or weightings to criteria. Rather we considered how each of the scenarios ranked against each other based on a scale of A to E for each criteria at a high level. The A to E rankings indicate a most or least preference along a scale. The rankings indicate what performs better in that specific criteria relative to the other scenarios. As an example, Alternative A2  would have such significant property impacts that it was ruled out altogether, hence the 'X' ranking for that criterion. The other scenarios where there would be property impacts at Edinburgh due to grade separation ranked in the middle ('C') as it was a significant reduction in property impacts from A2. Scenarios where there would be no property impacts ranked as the most preferred ('A') as it would be the optimal alternative compared to others with property impacts.  

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    This question was origianlly asked in the comments section: How can the study be over? When résidence directly affected were not consulted Spoke with another neighbour who was also oblivious of all this (who also lives On Edinburgh accross from the park

    13 days ago

    We are concluding the feasibility study later this year. This comment period is extended to June 29th, and the project team will then finalize the report materials and present it to Council in early 2023.  

    The next step after this study is to commence a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) in 2023 where we will continue refining and exploring options in close consultation with the community. Options would include various at-grade options, do nothing, and design alternatives for grade separating. A recommendation will be brought forth to City Council in 2024 or 2025 for decision. It is possible the do nothing option is selected with no property impacts.

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    This question was originally asked in the comments section: How can the survey be closed We just found out about all this and our house is directly facing section of Edinburgh that will be affected Closing Crimea st would be awful for the alley way that parallel Edinburgh, used to access our driveways This will become a Through way for The traffic It’s not wide enough to accommodate this Also how do Pedestrians cross Edinburgh at Crimea/Robinson ? This is Very popular crossing as entire junction neighbourhood foot access to sunny acres park These things done seem To be in consideration at all! I am shocked we did not receive direct contact as our property will be Heavily impacted

    13 days ago

    Staff held two engagement periods (November 2021 and June 2022) to share information and receive feedback from the community. The November 2021 survey was associated with informaiton we needed last fall and is now closed. The current engagement is open until June 29th to receive feedback on the draft study findings.  

    Thank you for your comments on the local road and pedestrian impacts and needs of the community. This feasibility study is the earliest point in exploring impacts of any future changes to rail crossings. It is the earliest point we can engage with the public. The only decision being made is to recommend where further study is required, which includes Edinburgh Road crossing, and the three identified active transportation crossings.  

    The next step after this study is to commence a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) in 2023 where we will continue refining and exploring options in close consultation with the community. Options would include various at-grade options, do nothing, and design alternatives for grade separating. A recommendation will be brought forth to City Council in 2024 or 2025 for decision. It is possible the do nothing option is selected with no property impacts.

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    This question/comment was originally asked in the comments section: With the study complete I see that scenario A7 is the preferred scenario with no changes to any crossing but a grade separation at Edinburgh Rd S. if that is the case then I would like details on how the completed underpass is expected to affect all residences along Edinburgh Rd south of the tracks to Waterloo. Obviously we will expect major impacts on access to our homes both via driveways and sidewalks of there is to be a lowering of the road. If there are plans for retaining walls will these have a direct impact on residences and how so? I look forward to any and all information currently available with regards to the preferred scenario.

    13 days ago

    The Level Rail Crossing study is a high level feasibility study. Detailed property impacts cannot be determined at this time. The findings of the study tell us that the crossing at Edinburgh Road needs to be studied further through the Class Environmental Assessment procedure, considering all reasonable alternatives to mitigating road and rail safety and community connectivity. It is possible the do nothing option is selected with no property impacts.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by Krysta: General: Restrictions on Dublin street crossing have created more vehicular traffic, commercial traffic and increase of speed of these vehicles travelling on a narrow street such as Glasgow street. If this is a permanent crossing for trains, the city needs to implement greater traffic calming measures on Glasgow Street. Glasgow: See my original comment.

    6 months ago

    Traffic calming requests can be made to traffic@guelph.ca and are evaluated and prioritized city-wide on an ongoing basis. Traffic calming recommendations are not in the scope of this study.

Page last updated: 22 Jun 2022, 12:07 PM