Real-time digital signs to inform Metro Vancouver drivers of railway crossing delays

Sep 4 2019, 3:36 pm

A new network of real-time digital signs informing drivers of train traffic at railway crossings in Surrey and Langley is set to become operational by the end of this month, according to the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in an email.

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The Railway Crossing Information System has been installed for the region’s eastern span of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor.

A total of six Motorist Advisory Signs have been installed at the following locations:

  • Fraser Highway at 196 Street
  • 200 Street at 64 Avenue
  • Fraser Highway at Langley Bypass
  • 200th Street at 56 Avenue
  • 56 Avenue at 192 Street
  • Logan Avenue at 203 Street
railway crossing information system

Map of Motorist Advisory Signs in Surrey and Langley. (Government of BC)

The provincial government states the signs are located at key strategic locations where congestion is known to be an issue when long trains making grade-level road crossings halt vehicle traffic.

Prior to approaching a railway crossing, the new signs are designed to inform drivers the direction the train is coming from and which alternative road crossings are open and closed.

The real-time information is calculated using sensors that detect a train’s presence, direction, and speed.

railway crossing information system

Motorist Advisory Signs in Surrey and Langley. (Government of BC)

However, the signs will only be activated when delays are estimated to last for two minutes or longer.

“Train events which cause delays less than two minutes duration will not be displayed on the Motorist Advisory Signs, as detouring for shorter events does not yield as great travel time savings benefits,” reads the project description.

The signs are intended to reduce traffic congestion, and the resulting emissions from excessive idling, and improve travel times.

The project cost $3.8 million, with TransLink covering $2.9 million and the federal government, provincial government, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority each contributing $300,000.

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