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Bill C-587, The Railway Noise and Vibration Control Act

by on October 28, 2010

To our readers:

This Bill was tabled today in the House of Commons in Ottawa, and a copy forwarded to us shortly after.

If you live in a community affected by late night railway noise and vibration, this is your opportunity to make a difference.

Call your Member of Parliament, and ask for their support of this legislation.

From: Julian, Peter – M.P.
Sent: October 27, 2010 3:32 PM
To: Julian, Peter – M.P.


October 27, 2010


OTTAWA – Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster), today tabled a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons, Bill C-587, The Railway Noise and Vibration Control Act. Bill Siksay, MP (Burnaby-Douglas) seconded the Bill.

Bill C-587 would prohibit railway companies from engaging in noisy rail yard activities in residential areas between the hours of 10pm and 8am.

After passing the House of Commons in 2007, the Senate changed the provisions of Bill C-11 which were amended by the Standing Committee on Transportation to decisively deal with railway noise.

“The Senate gutted the Bill’s regulations to allow “reasonable” amounts of noise, a phrase open to heavy interpretation, which protected railway companies and ensured that they would continue to pay only lip service to the complaints of residents” said Julian “The time for a conciliatory approach is over, the railway companies have been unresponsive and now we’ve been forced to push for tough legislation to address this issue.”

Railway companies have continued to carry out high noise activities in the evening, overnight, and early in the morning, seriously disrupting the lives of local residents. High noise activities in the rail yard include the idling, sorting, coupling, decoupling and shunting of trains, which create an incredible amount of noise and disruption.

Peter has held a number of town hall meetings to discuss with residents of New Westminster the ongoing problem of railway noise in the Westminster Quay neighbourhood. His Bill is a response to the growing concerns of local constituents who live near the Westminster Quay rail yard, where a large and dense residential neighbourhood has been built in the surrounding area over the last two decades.

“Quayside residents; in fact all Canadians, are entitled to a good night’s sleep,” said Julian.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Office of Peter Julian 613.222-4074


Le 27 octobre 2010


OTTAWA – Aujourd’hui, M. Peter Julian, député de Burnaby—New Westminster, a déposé un projet de loi d’initiative parlementaire à la Chambre des communes, le projet de loi C-587, Loi sur la limitation du bruit et des vibrations ferroviaires. M. Bill Siksay, député de Burnaby-Douglas, a appuyé le projet de loi.

Le projet de loi C-587 interdirait aux compagnies de chemin de fer de s’adonner à des activités bruyantes entre 22 heures et 8 heures dans les gares de triage situées dans des secteurs résidentiels.

Après l’adoption du projet de loi C-11 à la Chambre des communes, le Sénat a modifié les dispositions qui avaient été amendées par le Comité permanent des transports afin de régler une fois pour toutes la question du bruit ferroviaire.

« Le Sénat a édulcoré la réglementation du projet de loi afin d’autoriser une quantité de bruit ‘raisonnable’. Le nouveau libellé prêtait le flanc à diverses interprétations, protégeait les compagnies de chemin de fer et faisait en sorte qu’elles continueraient d’écouter que pour la forme les plaintes des résidents, a affirmé M. Julian. Finie l’approche conciliante, les compagnies ferroviaires ont fait la sourde oreille au point de nous obliger à prendre des mesures législatives coercitives pour régler le problème. »

Les compagnies de chemin de fer ont continué de s’adonner à des activités bruyantes en soirée, la nuit et à l’aube, perturbant sérieusement la vie des résidents. Ces activités comprennent les moteurs qui tournent au ralenti, le triage, le couplage, le découplage et les manœuvres; elles sont extrêmement bruyantes et perturbantes.

Peter a tenu plusieurs réunions publiques pour discuter avec les résidents de New Westminster du bruit constant dans le quartier de Westminster Quay. Son projet de loi est l’expression des préoccupations des électeurs qui habitent à proximité de la gare de triage de Westminster Quay, où un important quartier résidentiel a été construit au cours des deux dernières décennies.

« Les résidents de Quayside, en fait tous les Canadiens, ont droit à une bonne nuit de sommeil », a déclaré M. Julian.

– 30 –

Pour plus de renseignements :

Bureau de Peter Julian 613-222-4074


© Copyright 2010

  1. Andre Normandeau permalink

    Bill C 587 There may be a sleep god. Ho! I long for a uninteruped night of sleep …

    • goldspike permalink

      Please contact your MP and get them to support this Bill! Please ask your neighbours to do this as well!

  2. goldspike permalink

    We’re providing a link to make contacting your Member of Parliament easier, so you can ask for their support of this Bill.

    Just enter your postal code in the site link given, and your MP, with contact information, will be displayed for you.

  3. Chris vanderHeide permalink

    Please call your MP and tell them NOT to support this legislation. Railways are a critical transportation system, and sorting of cars is part of their function. To require by law an absolute shut down of all operations during the evenings, weekends, and holiday would be an economic disaster.

    Large railway terminals operate 24/7, 365 days a year. To cut those operations will cause severe delays, traffic gridlock, missed deliveries and massive negative economic impacts.

    • goldspike permalink

      It’s been done in parts of Europe successfully already.

    • trainjane permalink

      Certain restrictions of a similar nature are already in place in the air industry in some Canadian cities, and they’ve managed just fine…

  4. Denise Laitinen permalink

    Too bad Chris, spoken like a true self serving capitalist – maybe the railways should learn how to be responsible neighbours to the people in Canada. They think they can bully people and intimidate and threaten and harass them – too bad, sooner or later they will pick the wrong person to threaten –

    The profits of a privately owned company DO NOT take presedence over public health and safety. The health and wellbeing of our children, never mind adults, is WAY more important then the railroads making another couple of billion in profits

    No one is sharing shut down operations, they can travel through urban centres at a reasonable rate of speed and they can make up cars without slamming them into each other, they can enter a city without slamming on their brakes causing cars to bash into each other, funny who the CP can manage to keep noise levels and speed down but the CN cant

  5. Amazing permalink

    Let me all ask you this question . Who was there first the railroad or you ? You people complain non stop about the noise and that noise is progress.

    So ask yourself this if you have an airport near your house are you going to ask them to stop running flights on weekends and nights so you can sleep.

    Ever better lets shut down all of the railroads and then everything they carry will now go on a truck. Lets see how fast you will be able to move on your roads then.

    All it ever is from you people is crying . You don’t like it move or buy some damn ear plugs. I have to wear mine so i dont have to listen to your sinffling.

    • trainjane permalink

      “Who was here first, the railway or you,” you ask…

      In my community, the roadway is senior to the railway, and numerous families trace their roots back in this neighbourhood before the railway as well.

      We also know of a community that is currently having a major railyard built on farmland with residences not far off. Why should these folks have to consider moving, as they were there first, given your line of reasoning?

      Increasingly, on an international basis, excessive noise is being recognized as a health hazard. Generally, health hazards are not viewed as being “progress.”

      We’re glad that your ear plugs are working out for you. Many people affected by railway operations find that ear plugs are of little use, given the levels of noise and vibration that they are being subjected to.

      We’re told that some Canadian cities have stopped late night flights out of respect for the health of its residents, a trend we’d like to see continue, and have taken seriously.

  6. Heather Koehler permalink

    I wish we had some ordinance in Michigan,US. I am trying to find something for the trains idling for hours and hours at a time keeping us awake (Grand Elk) behind our house about 1/8 mile. It shakes our house. We tried to move to a bedroom upstairs but I am just ready to sell our house. There is a train yard here in the residential area and I do not know why it is not moved down about 1/2 mile(at least for loading) where there aren’t houses. Michigan is so over tolerant of everything though including boom bass and pollution. I can barely take this mindset. We also experience waking up to the air filled with diesel. Emailed our mayor but I will never hear from him. What to do.Maybe we should move to Canada.

  7. Tammy Tymchuk permalink

    We built before the Yard in Golden BC was built and we are very effected by noise/vibration ..sounds like constant banging! low frequency noise (we are 325 meter’s due west of the yard) we are unable to sell because of the railway. They don’t even “try” to be quiet at night, and coal traffic is suppose to increase by 50% in 2011 for the next 10 years. Not very good Corperate Citizens CPR.

  8. Denise permalink

    I want to share this website with the people here on Rail and Reason

    • trainjane permalink

      Hello Denise, John Kristensen, the person who keeps the “Railroaded” blog has been the subject of two posts on our site, namely “No Cando” and “What You Cando.”
      We also have a link from our site to his. Have you signed his on-line petition yet?

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