Tag Archives: har

Harbourside – concern about CN rail crossing

Information follows regarding the level rail crossing on Bewicke, which is one of the two access points for the Harbourside development.  The letter from CN Rail dated Feb 2013 states concerns, quoting in part:•

“CN has concerns that this residential and commercial development will
result in increased vehicle traffic at Bewicke Avenue. This poses both
safety and operational concerns at this multi-track crossing, with expected
future increase in rail traffic as part of the Pacific Gateway.”

Following is an email from Ron Polly to CNV requesting whether there has been an update to the letter from CN, the response from the City, and the original letter from CN Rail detailing their concerns.


Email from Ron Polly to CNV:

From: Ron [mailto:rpolly@shaw.ca] 

Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 10:35 AM

To: Emilie Adin
Subject: Bewicke closing and future staffing for Harbourside development.
Importance: High

Hello Ms Adin

 I was wondering if there has been any resolution to the CN letter dated Feb 2013 and the Concert/Knightsbridge project on Harbourside application ?

Also I was wondering sine this project will be going on for so many years and it will take up so much staff time. Will there be additional staff and or a department added as this project proceeds ?

Could you get back to me please prior to the public meeting this Monday..


Ron Polly

Response from City:

Hello Mr. Polly,

Thank you for your e-mail.  If you would like to make a formal written submission on this rezoning application, your correspondence would need to be directed to the City Clerk’s office:kgraham@cnv.org.

The Public Hearing for the Harbourside Waterfront rezoning application is on Tuesday April 1st at 6pm, not on Monday.  The Council Meeting Agenda for April 1, 2014, can be found at this link:


Since the letter dated February 15, 2013, that you attached to your e-mail, we have not received any further formal response from CN Rail to the referral that was sent by the City of North Vancouver.  However, we have been in regular discussions with CN Rail and we are working with CN Rail on safety improvements to the Bewicke at-grade crossing.  I am copying Brian Willock, Manager, Engineering, Planning & Design, to provide you with more information on how safety and operational concerns raised in CN Rail’s letter are being resolved.

Other issues, such as noise attenuation and noise covenants, Spirit Trail master planning, etc. are fully resolved in this rezoning application.

There is absolutely no expectation of additional staffing or a department added as this project proceeds.  Approval of this rezoning is not anticipated to bring a rate of development and construction beyond what is normally anticipated to occur in the City.



Emilie K Adin
Deputy Director, Community Development
t: 604.982.3922

Original letter from CN Rail February 15 2013: 
Quentin Moore
Second floor – Building B
10229 – 127 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5E 0B9
Telephone: (780) 643-7654
Facsimile: (780) 377-4281
E-mail: quentin.moore@cn.ca
February 15, 2013
Attn: Farouk Babul
RE: Harbourside Waterfront Rezoning Application – Request for Comment
CN has reviewed the rezoning application and have the following comments for
your careful review and consideration:
• CN has concerns that this residential and commercial development will
result in increased vehicle traffic at Bewicke Avenue. This poses both
safety and operational concerns at this multi-track crossing, with expected
future increase in rail traffic as part of the Pacific Gateway. It should be
noted that, as per federal regulation and CN’s Operating Rules, while no
part of a train or engine can be stopped on a public crossing and blocking
it for more than five minutes when vehicular or pedestrian traffic requires
passage through, there are no time restrictions a moving train may occupy
a crossing for (regardless of the speed) under federal regulations. The
best outcome would be to close Bewicke Avenue crossing, or make it a
private gated crossing for use in Emergency situations only, as there is an
existing overpass at Fell Avenue. At the very least we would like to review
the Traffic Management plan for the development.
• We note the conceptual proposal includes a drawing showing the Spirit
Trail running north to CN Rail at Bewicke Avenue, and running adjacent to
the CN Track eastward. CN must reiterate again, we are not in support of
the Spirit Trail adjacent to the track as shown for Safety reasons.
• CN strongly suggests all possible security measures are taken along CN
Right of Way to avoid trespass and security related safety issues with the
increase in adjacent population, as trains can be moving and/or parked on
the multiple tracks in the vicinity?
• If there are changes or additions to Utility crossings of CN they will have to
be addressed for CN approval.
. Construction traffic crossing of CN will need to be addressed at time of
construction, and may require flagging protection.
• Residents and Retail personnel of the development must be made aware
of the noise to be expected from the adjacent Railway. This may include
whistling and possibly shunting as well as other noise associated with our
operations in the area. The Developer should include noise abatement
strategies in the project such as windows that reduce noise, insulating
materials, walls, berms, etc. Residents of the development should be
made aware of the railway noise via a noise and vibration covenant
applied to titles. We would ask that the City of North Vancouver make this
a condition of the development.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and kindly keep
CN involved during your ongoing consultation process.
Yours truly,
Quentin Moore
cc: Emilie K. Adin (Deputy Director, Community Development Department, City of North