A rendering of one of the railway crossing information signs in Langley. (Photo: gov.bc.ca)

Transportation

New signs aim to ease gridlock at train crossings with details on incoming trains

$3.8 million Railway Crossing Information System set to launch at six locations in mid-September

A new train crossing information system is set to launch in Surrey and Langley in mid-September and it’s hoped the new signs will help reduce congestion.

The project is part of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor Program, and includes the installation of six signs on major routes to inform motorists of where trains are, and what delays to expect.

They have been installed at “key, strategic” locations “where there continues to be known congestion,” explained Brad Glazer, director of Trade Corridor & Infrastructure Development for the province, in a promotional video.

“This is going to tell the travelling public the direction that the train is coming from, which of the current at-grade rail crossings are closed, which ones are still open… People travelling through the community, if there’s a train coming, and they want to avoid it, then take one of the new overpasses,” Glazer added.

The soon-to-launch Railway Crossing Information System is “really about reducing congestion, reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and getting people to their destinations in a safe and efficient manner,” said Glazer.

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Ian Steele, principal of PBX Engineering, said the new system will help motorists “make informed route choices.”

“As the motorist approaches the crossing, they’ll see the sign and the sign will tell them the status of that crossing as it appears to them at that location,” Steele explained in the video. “There’s an icon that traverses the bottom of the sign that shows your the train location and the direction it’s going and that’s really important information because if you’re driving towards a crossing, you know from the information on the signs whether the trains are going east or whether they’re going west. Based on that information, and a good mental map of the area, you can pick an alternate route that will get you around those crossings.

According to the provincial government, a “train detector” will record a train’s presence, direction and speed and send that information to a central control system.

This will appear on nearby signs to indicate the status of crossings, but will only display delays of two minutes or longer as “detouring for shorter events does not yield as great travel time savings benefits.”

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The signs have been installed at the following locations:

  • Fraser Highway at 196th Street
  • 200th Street at 64th Avenue
  • Fraser Highway at Langley Bypass
  • 200th Street at 56th Avenue
  • 56th Avenue at 192nd Street
  • Logan Avenue at 203rd Street

The project came with a price tag of $3.8 million, with $300,000 coming from the federal government under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund, $300,000 from the province, $300,000 from Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and $2.9 million from TransLink.

In an email, the a spokesperson for the province told the Now-Leader the signs are set to go live in mid-September, but an exact date was not provided.



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