How District Can Silence the Shrieking CN Trains

The shrieks and the squeals of the CN trains that manage to disturb half the town’s sleep can be silenced. But there is just one catch: Money.  

In order to eliminate the whistling, the Federal Transportation Safety Board requires the district to participate in hearings and undertake crossing upgrades which includes fencing, guarding, lights and bells. The Cleveland and Buckley crossing has this infrastructure but to be effective, the other immediately following crossings would need to be upgraded and that has proven to be cost prohibitive, Arthurs said.

Five years ago, the district undertook an estimate to eliminate whistling at Amblepath through to Lesky’s Crossing along Government Road just north of Mamquam elementary school – 2 crossings. At that time, each crossing was estimated to be $300,000 including the required fencing.

It was considered too costly, but the staff are continually looking for federal grants and the district capital budget to begin the process to upgrade the crossings so whistling can be eliminated, district official Robin Arthurs said, in a reply to a citizen who had complained about the CN noise pollution.

“Elimination will be a domino effect, in that several crossings will need to be upgraded within very short distances in order to eliminate from neighbourhood to neighbourhood,” she said.

Arthurs said it is extremely frustrating for local governments because regulatory bylaws, such as the Noise Bylaw, do not apply to CN.  

“We understand your annoyance related to CN and their whistling activities within our residential areas, and how this seems incongruent to their commitment to be good corporate neighbours. We do keep a record of complaints to help with our discussions with CN which occur approximately once per year,” she added.

If you would like to provide comment or feedback directly to CN, here is a link to the CN “contact us” section on their website if you need any more information. they can be reached by telephone at 1-888-888-5909


  1. Donny says:

    CN may be exempt from regulations like Noise pollution, but how about BC Rail, which used to be holding company for CN’s Squamish operations and may still be the owner of the rail track.

  2. David Lassmann says:

    BC Rail Properties gives a very brief history of its creation at
    For the etymology of the verb “railroad” meaning to abuse power see:
    If you really want to get into it there is always the Railway Act at

  3. Patricia Marini says:

    The District does’ get much right! All the great new signage only to drive over disgusting track that are over grown and go no where what is with that.