There’s been a substantial increase in rail traffic over the last few years on the CN tracks that pass through the Grandview Cut. We’ve included several photos of this route in the slideshow above.
The increases in freight rail traffic have consequently led to bottlenecks at the street crossings that are at grade. This impacts not only Prior Street, but also the Renfrew, Slocan, Rupert and Boundary Road crossings. While City Hall approved an underpass for Prior Street back in October of 2019, there’s been on no visible work on this undertaking. As for the major arterial streets of Renfrew, Rupert and Boundary, there’s been no progress on underpasses and overpasses. There would of course be technical challenges to overcome at these locations, such as groundwater from nearby Still Creek at Rupert and the limitations created by the elevated Skytrain tracks (with respect to some overpass options). There’s a section of another railway line that’s buried underground in Vancouver Heights before Second Narrows. This illustrates that it’s also possible to run longer stretches of a railway underground. There’s of course the open question whether any funding would be allocated to address the increases in freight traffic going through the railway crossings at Renfrew, Rupert and Boundary Road. Are there any long-term plans by the City? Or do transportation planners consider this to be a non-issue?
Union, Venables Street Railway Crossings. Delays and more delays (CityHallWatch, Aug 2, 2020)
Protest on Prior: Residents demand traffic calming as staff report goes to City Council (CityHallWatch, Oct 1, 2019)