Rail crossing study

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We’re starting a transportation study to look at and propose changes for five road-level rail crossings in Guelph. This work supports planned Metrolinx service expansion along the Kitchener GO rail line through Guelph including all-day two-way GO service. This is a City of Guelph led project, with results being 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 an active transportation (e.g. foot bridge) connection across the rail line at Cityview Drive.

These rail crossings may need changes to meet safety regulations and current design standards. It’s also important to consider traffic flow and connectivity for all road users. The options we’re exploring for each crossing include:

  • doing nothing (leave the crossing as is)
  • grade separation between a street or path and the railway tracks (an underpass or overpass)
  • active transportation crossings for people walking and biking, either at grade or with a grade separation
  • closing the crossing

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.

Have your say

Any proposed changes to these crossings would affect many road users whether driving, walking, biking or using mobility devices. We need to hear from you about how you travel across these crossings and any challenges you face. Take a moment to complete our survey or submit comments or questions below by November 30.

We’ll use your input about how you use these crossings and your neighbourhood needs, along with technical traffic analyses and feasibility assessments, to make recommendations for each railway crossing. The City and Metrolinx are aiming to balance the needs and safety of all users, including train operators.

Once we identify the recommended option for each rail crossing, we’ll host a virtual open house to share findings and get further community feedback on the recommended options. Stay tuned for details in early 2022.

We’re starting a transportation study to look at and propose changes for five road-level rail crossings in Guelph. This work supports planned Metrolinx service expansion along the Kitchener GO rail line through Guelph including all-day two-way GO service. This is a City of Guelph led project, with results being 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 an active transportation (e.g. foot bridge) connection across the rail line at Cityview Drive.

These rail crossings may need changes to meet safety regulations and current design standards. It’s also important to consider traffic flow and connectivity for all road users. The options we’re exploring for each crossing include:

  • doing nothing (leave the crossing as is)
  • grade separation between a street or path and the railway tracks (an underpass or overpass)
  • active transportation crossings for people walking and biking, either at grade or with a grade separation
  • closing the crossing

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.

Have your say

Any proposed changes to these crossings would affect many road users whether driving, walking, biking or using mobility devices. We need to hear from you about how you travel across these crossings and any challenges you face. Take a moment to complete our survey or submit comments or questions below by November 30.

We’ll use your input about how you use these crossings and your neighbourhood needs, along with technical traffic analyses and feasibility assessments, to make recommendations for each railway crossing. The City and Metrolinx are aiming to balance the needs and safety of all users, including train operators.

Once we identify the recommended option for each rail crossing, we’ll host a virtual open house to share findings and get further community feedback on the recommended options. Stay tuned for details in early 2022.

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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    The City has so far responded to many questions and comments submitted by stating its commitment to safety and connectivity. It seems to me that these two values may be at odds in this situation. For example, connectivity on Dublin Street was lost due to concerns and regulations involving safety issues. I am very concerned that with the increase in train speeds. They have been incrementally ramping up to almost 70 km/hr over the last number of weeks, if the billboards are to be believed, and I am left wondering if the increased speed will force us into a corner around connectivity in the core. What assurances can the city provide that Glasgow, Yorkshire, Edinburgh and Alma will not be forced closed off due to safety concerns due to the new speed? What limits can the city negotiate with or bring to bear on Metrolinx, as that agency seems to be able to act with little care or heed for quality of life issues in our city core? To whom is Metrolinx even accountable? Thank you. Greta DeLonghi

    Greta DeLonghi asked 8 days ago

    The City's top priorities are to look at both public safety and connectivity in our communities, but as you note, in this situation, we will need to find options that can balance both safety and connectivity. If level crossings require closure due to safety requirements, the City is assessing options that can still provide connectivity, whether that be full connectivity for all modes (such as motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) or only for active transportation uses. The public/municipalities cannot influence the Transport Canada regulations that dictate rail crossing safety and closure requirements. However, the City is undertaking this study to understand traffic operations impacts and to assess the feasibility of different level crossing options.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by Sadie: General: The Dublin St closure has greatly impacted my daily routine and causes regular detours. It would be devastating to see similar closures in my neighbourhood. The old downtown neighbourhood cannot be split in two- it will cause traffic congestion, make foot traffic inaccessible, and allow more high speed trains around residential homes that are not designed to withstand the vibrations of the tracks. Yorkshire: If any changes are made to the Yorkshire crossing, my regular 10 minute walk to my destination will become closer to 20 mins. Glasgow: If any changes are made to the Glasgow st crossing, my regular walk to my destination will become at least 10 minutes longer.

    3 days ago

    The City's top priorities are public safety and maintaining connectivity in our communities. Given that, as part of this study we will assess options that balance both these needs. We will be assessing different options including grade separation or providing an active transportation crossing (for pedestrians and bicycles) if a connection for cars cannot be maintained.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by Lin: General: I would have preferred that the city had taken the time to organize a virtual public meeting using webex or a similar platform. This is something that the city has been using throughout the pandemic and I see no reason why it could not be used to gather information from the electorate. In additon public virtual meetings allow participants to learn from each other, as questions are posed and answered. it is unfortunate that the city chose only to use have your say - with predetermined questions that are not set by the community whose lives will be affected. Cityview: I am not familiar with this part of the city

    3 days ago

    This Have Your Say website and questionnaire is the first community engagement milestone for this study. Its purpose is to notify the public that this study is starting and also to help the City gauge initial feedback and comments from the public. A virtual public meeting will be held at a later date when the City has progressed in the study and can present preliminary options and recommendations in order to solicit feedback from the public.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by Traicee: General: Noise reduction hours, what are they? Sometimes I hear banging and clanking as early as 7am and as late a 12am. Edinburgh: Sometimes the head car just blocks the railway crossing, doesn't move nor is transporting any cargo. It would be great to know how often this occurs and why..

    3 days ago

    The shunting trains belong to Canadian National (CN). Unfortunately, their operations are not regulated by the City of Guelph.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by Robert: General: Unclear why Dublin Street has not been included in the scope of work/terms of reference for this study.

    3 days ago

    The City is exploring the possibility of adding Dublin Street and other recommended locations to the scope of this study as per feedback received through this survey.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by David: General: Important to keep crossings open. Rail transport improvement is very important as well, but the result cannot be a “wall “ through the city. Yorkshire: This crossing is critical for traffic distribution.

    3 days ago

    Thank you for your comment. Metrolinx's planned increase in train frequency and speed along the rail corridor could present a public safety issue at the level crossings. As such, we are undertaking this study to determine what crossing options are feasible from a transportation and safety perspective. The City's top priorities are public safety and maintaining connectivity in our communities so as part of this study we will assess options that balance both these needs.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by Dana: General: I live on Edinburgh and we already have so much traffic. closing off anymore crossings will just push more cars on to Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Don’t close it.

    3 days ago

    At this time, no decision or recommendation has been made for any of the level rail crossings in this study and no options have been ruled out. We acknowledge the importance of Edinburgh Road as one of few north-south key corridors for all modes of travel. The function of Edinburgh Road will be taken into account when evaluating alternatives. We will be assessing different options including grade separation or providing an active transportation crossing (for pedestrians and bicycles) if a connection for cars cannot be maintained. The alternatives and recommendation option will be shared publicly for discussion at a virtual Open House at a later date.

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    This question/comment was received through the online survey by Fabio: General: I am all for safety, especially with the increased train speeds, but we need North/South routes. We've already closed Dublin at the crossing, if we close anymore I'm afraid of the amount of traffic congestion on parallel roads. Yorkshire: This one is very important. It's often too busy to turn south on Edinburgh so I will take Yorkshire instead.

    3 days ago

    The City's top priorities are public safety and maintaining connectivity in our communities. Given that, as part of this study we will assess options that balance both these needs and will also look at how traffic is impacted and diverted as a result of the different options, including grade separation or providing an active transportation crossing (for pedestrians and bicycles) if a connection for cars cannot be maintained. The alternatives and recommended option will be shared publicly for discussion at a virtual Open House at a later date. Thank you for your comments.

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    The original deadline for compliance with the new Grade Crossings Handbook was November 28th, 2021. I understand that due to COVID, some extensions have been granted. Which crossings have been granted extensions and for how long? The deadline is extended for 1 year for some and 3 for others, I believe.

    Susan Watson asked 14 days ago

    Transport Canada has issued an extension on compliance with these requirements for 1-3 years: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2021/06/proposed-amendments-to-the-grade-crossings-regulations-will-help-focus-efforts-to-improve-safety-at-grade-crossings.html. The City has not been notified that any crossings (beyond Dublin) were considered "high risk".  

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    One of your answers states regarding the Dublin St. closures that there was no public consultation or debate at Council because there were "No alternatives for consideration by the public." Are you aware that the Hatch report commissioned by Metrolinx stated: "Maintaining an active transportation crossing at Dublin Street across the rail corridor is preferred to maintain pedestrian and cyclist connectivity"? The re-opening of Dublin Street to active transportation needs to be revisited.

    Susan Watson asked 14 days ago

    The closure of the Dublin Street rail crossing was directed by Transport Canada under the updated Railway Safety Act, a federal regulation, to address safety deficiencies. Unfortunately, given that, there was not an opportunity for City Council or the public to influence the decision.  

    The City is aware of the Hatch report and is exploring the possibility of adding Dublin Street and other recommended locations to the scope of this study as per feedback received through this survey. 

Page last updated: 22 November 2021, 13:55