The Government of Canada has announced an investment of $167 million for three projects that will help Canadian businesses compete globally by making improvements to port infrastructure and by increasing the capacity of the rail infrastructure that serves the south shore port area.
“It’s critical that we provide for the smooth movement of people and goods to foster economic growth and take advantage of the trade opportunities offered by Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway,” said Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North — Seymour. “These projects will increase capacity, reduce logistics costs, and improve access for local industries.”
The first two projects are led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, with investment from Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway and include:
- improving the existing Thornton Rail Tunnel ventilation system so that trains can pass through the tunnel more frequently;
- improving the rail corridor by building 5.5 kilometres of track adjacent to the existing double-tracked corridor;
- designing and raising Douglas Road so it crosses over the existing Canadian National railway l corridor;
- building the Centennial Road overpass, a 600 metre-long, two-lane elevated viaduct structure;
- extending the existing two-lane Waterfront Road by 600 metres;
- realigning 350 metres of Commissioner Street; and
- building 9.4 kilometres of new siding track and reconfiguring train switching operations within the Canadian Pacific railway corridor, along the south shore of Burrard Inlet in the Cities of Vancouver and Burnaby.
The third project led by Canadian National, with investment from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, involves designing and building a 4.2-kilometre-long secondary track, parallel to the existing Burrard Inlet line, in the City of Vancouver. The increased rail capacity will support the flow of goods through the south shore port area, as trade volumes continue to grow.
The projects will increase the efficiency and capacity of the rail network servicing the north and south shores of the Port of Vancouver, while also facilitating the movement of goods and reducing the effects of rail traffic on the community. In addition, these projects will improve safety with better access to and from the south shore waterfront.
“British Columbia’s history was forged with the arrival of the railway in 1885. Since then, Vancouver has played a central role in trade, ensuring products from across Canada make it to Asia and Pacific rim markets,” said Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre. “These upgrades to our railway system, including the Thornton Rail Tunnel, are an important part of boosting Canada’s competitive edge on the world stage.”
The Port of Vancouver is the 3rd largest port in North America in terms of volume and the largest port in Canada, almost 4 times larger than Canada’s second busiest port (Montréal) with 142 million tonnes of cargo handled in 2017 (2.7 million tonnes per week).