City Continues to Investigate Options for Reducing, Eliminating Train Delays
The City of Saskatoon has completed Phase 1 of the Rail Relocation versus Grade Separation study. The study completed a cost to benefit assessment of either grade separating the rail from traffic at nine key locations in the city, or relocating the CP line outside of the city.
“The disruptions caused by rail crossings in the city is something we’ve been trying to address for years,” says Acting Director of Transportation, Jay Magus. “There isn’t a simple solution, but Phase 1 of this study provides us information both financially and design-wise related to both options, and will help direct our work moving forward.”
The study outcomes were:
- From a purely monetary point of view, neither option proves viable at this time. However the proposed options do provide intangible benefits that are difficult to quantify including improved emergency response times, access to community facilities and services, and neighbourhood aesthetics and cohesiveness.
- The impacts of the grade separation option on the adjacent properties are significant and this option should not be pursed further.
- If an agreement to operate in a shared corridor can be reached, the relocation option may have some merit in the long-term despite not providing pure monetary benefits.
Based on the results of the study, the City Administration is recommending that – in the short term –the City investigate opportunities to use technology to reduce the impact of delays related to rail activity throughout the city. Long term, the City Administration is recommending that further discussion be held with the railways to discuss opportunities to operate in a shared corridor.
A report outlining the study’s findings and these recommendations will be presented to City Council’s Special Policy Committee on Transportation on March 12, 2018. The full report will be available after March 7th at saskatoon.ca/meetings under Upcoming Meetings – SPC Transportation.