Canadian Pacific (CP) is proposing to expand its existing railway infrastructure in Vancouver to improve capacity and fluidity on the south shore of the Port of Vancouver. The public is invited to learn about the Commissioner Street Rail Expansion Project and provide input.
Approximately 40 percent of this project is within the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority jurisdiction, and the balance of the work is understood to be within the CP right-of-way and a small portion under the jurisdiction of the City of Vancouver. View a map of the project area showing jurisdiction
The project is subject to review under the port authority's Project and Environmental Review (PER) process, which includes requirements for engagement with stakeholders, the public and Indigenous groups, in addition to other technical requirements. See the port authority’s webpage for this project
From November 18 – December 22, 2021, CP invited the public to learn about the proposed project and provide input. There were several ways to participate including an online information session, a feedback form and providing feedback by mail, email and phone.
All feedback received throughout the engagement period has been summarized and considered by CP. The Commissioner Street Rail Expansion Project Summary and Consideration Report can be found in the Supporting Documents section of this webpage. CP thanks all those who provided their input.
CP is proposing to expand its existing railway infrastructure in Vancouver to improve capacity and fluidity on the south shore of the Port of Vancouver. The proposed rail expansion project is funded by CP with financial support from the Government of Canada through the National Trade Corridors Fund. The proposed expansion is being undertaken as part of the Commissioner Street Road and Rail Realignment Project, within the Burrard Inlet Road and Rail Improvement Program. The program includes road improvements, led by the port authority, that will improve truck traffic flow and safe and efficient access to terminal facilities and make lands available for the installation of additional railway infrastructure by CP.
The Commissioner Street Rail Expansion Project includes two additional tracks proposed to the north of the existing rail yard between the Commissioner Street overpass and Victoria Drive in East Vancouver. The additional tracks are intended to increase storage capacity and improve operations for existing Port of Vancouver rail customers.
If approved, work is proposed to begin following the completion of work being led by the port authority on the Commissioner Street road realignment. Construction is anticipated to take nine months and work is scheduled to occur weekly and within the Port of Vancouver's regular hours from Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. However, extended work hours may be required to meet key Project timelines and minimize disruptions to traffic and operations of Port tenants. A formal request to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) to conduct construction outside of regular work hours, following the VFPA's PER Guidelines (February 2021), will be prepared and submitted as appropriate.
An Environmental Management Plan has been prepared for the Project and has been submitted with the Category C PER application to the port authority. The Plan includes standard industry best practices and mitigation measures for the Project. When the construction contractor is engaged for this project, following PER approval, specific construction techniques to be used by the contractor will be identified and additional construction impact mitigation measures proposed.
The volume, speed, motive power and timing of trains arriving and departing the East L Yard area of the Port are not anticipated to change as a result of the proposed project. The new L30 and L31 tracks will allow operations to be optimized.
No direct effects are anticipated to:
No work will occur in Burrard Inlet or along the vegetated embankment on the south side of CP's existing tracks.
Potential temporary negative effects to local air quality from construction machinery/equipment during construction activities
The Project is expected to result in insignificant changes in air quality levels at adjacent residences located south of the project once operational.
Construction Environmental Management Plan outlines Best Management Practices employed to mitigate adverse effects, including complying with federal locomotive emission regulations, low-sulphur fuels, water spraying, proper inspection and maintenance of construction equipment, etc.
No significant residual adverse effects after mitigation
Archaeology and cultural resources
Potential effects of ground disturbance activities during construction on archaeological resource potential
Chance-Find Procedure – stop work and notify interested Indigenous communities in the event of unexpected discovery of archaeological resources
Potential risks to structures and other hazards
Design and installation of proposed project components to be informed by geotechnical investigations and in compliance with applicable engineering standards to prevent risks to structures and other hazards
Noise, vibration and light
Potential temporary increases in noise levels and temporary negative effects of lighting generated during construction activities
Once the new tracks are operational, rail operations will be more efficient than operations that are in place currently. The Project is expected to result in insignificant changes in noise levels at adjacent residences
Appropriately scheduling timing of noisy construction activities, shrouding of stationary equipment and regular inspection/maintenance of construction equipment. Strategic positioning of lights to face away from residents
Surface water and soils
Potential effects of construction activities on water quality of downstream receiving waterbodies and of contaminated soils requiring excavation
Construction Environmental Management Plan and Soil Characterization study include Best Management Practices for surface water and soil management, including erosion and sediment control measures implemented during construction, and appropriate stockpiling, handling and disposal procedures
Potential temporary negative effects (e.g., reduced speed zones, detours, lane closures) to commercial traffic/operations using Commissioner Street during construction
No impacts are anticipated to traffic during operation since volumes are not anticipated to grow based on this project
Traffic control performed per the Port's approved contractor's traffic management plan, and where necessary, construction to occur outside of VFPA's Regular Work Hours
For questions about the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's (VFPA) Project and Environmental Review of the proposed project, please contact the port authority at PER@portvancouver.com or 604.665.9047.
As a Canada Port Authority, the port authority is governed by the Canada Marine Act, with a mandate to facilitate Canada's trade objectives, ensuring goods are moved safely, while protecting the environment and considering local communities.
Visit the port authority website for more information:https://www.portvancouver.com/permitting-and-reviews/per/