Railway crossing

Rail safety

We're working to reduce impacts from rail activity and improve the safety near rail crossings. 

Vancouver is a gateway for Asia-Pacific trade, which makes the railway critical to the movement of goods around Canada and North America. Rail presence is vital to our strong local economy, but requires us to be alert and be safe around rail crossings. 

We're also working to build over or under passes near the Port of Vancouver to separate the rail line to enhance safety and reduce congestion caused by waiting for trains to pass.  

Safety improvements

We work with the railways and take action on our own street right-of-way to improve safety and minimize traffic congestion around trains. We are:

  • Installing train presence monitoring devices to track the frequency and duration of trains at key crossings
  • Applying for funding to develop real-time alerts for motorists
  • Rehabilitating sidewalks near crossings
  • Upgrading railway warning devices 
  • Improving pavement markings and signage
  • Working with Operation Lifesaver  to increase public awareness of safety at rail crossings 

What's happeningFull closure of Raymur Ave rail crossing

We plan to close the Raymur Ave railway crossing in Strathcona to address safety concerns and meet Transport Canada’s new safety standards.

The initial deadline to install the safety upgrades was the fall of 2021, but Transport Canada extended the deadline to November 2024.

The extension allowed us to work with an engineering consultant to study different railway safety options. The study built on feedback collected from the Strathcona community in 2021 about keeping the crossing open or closed. 

Changes

The consultant’s assessment confirmed that a full closure of the railway crossing is the only feasible long-term option to meet the new safety standards.

As a result, we will make these changes by fall 2024:

  • Add new barriers along the north and south sides of the railway crossing.
  • Remove the bell and light warning systems, which will reduce noise in the area.
  • Place “do not enter” signs to notify approaching vehicles travelling north (at Raymur Ave near the Hastings overpass bridge) and south (at E Cordova St and Raymur Ave) of the road closure.

We will continue to allow two-way vehicle travel on both the east and west laneways.

Impacts

  • Removing the bell and light warning system will reduce noise in the area.
  • People driving, walking, biking, and rolling will not be able to cross the Raymur Avenue railway.
  • Drivers in the east laneway can only make right-hand turns going north onto Raymur Avenue. Southbound vehicle travel will not be allowed.
  • Drivers in the west laneway can only make right-hand turns going south onto Raymur Avenue. Northbound vehicle travel will not be allowed.

Questions?

Email railsafety@vancouver.ca.

Our responsibility to residents

Safety is our number one goal, and our work is guided by policies such as the Greenest City Action Plan (for issues such as air quality) and the  Healthy City Strategy (for issues such as livability). 

We have no authority over rail operations, but are committed to supporting residents in discussions with the Canadian Transportation Agency and rail companies to address issues of health and safety.

Our responsibility to rail

Vancouver’s Economic Action Strategy (2011) focuses on attracting and retaining people as key economic drivers, creating a climate for growth and prosperity, and supporting business investment and trade.

We have a key role in supporting the Port as a gateway to global markets through local land use and transportation policies.

Rail safety tips

  • Obey all railway signs and warning devices such as lights, bells, and gates
  • Use designated railway crossings
  • Exercise your patience
  • Never walk, bike, or drive along railway tracks
  • Don't be distracted by phones or other devices when behind the wheel or near a railway crossing
  • Keep your distance as trains appear to be much further away and slower than their actual speed
  • Avoid stationary railway cars as they can move at any time

Know the signs

Learn about the hazards of rail crossings and trespassing on railway property. 

Related strategies

Rail Corridor Strategy history

Learn about the background and timeline of the Rail Corridor Strategy.

False Creek Flats Rail Corridor Strategy

Learn about the strategy which outlines measures to reduce impacts of increasing rail traffic on residents.

False Creek Flats grade separation

We are looking at opportunities to separate our streets from the Burrard Inlet Rail Line that runs north-south beside the False Creek Flats.