Rail Safety Advisory Letter 617-06/17

Jurisdictional responsibility for roadway markings at Crush Crescent – Glover Road crossing in Langley, BC

Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage, 4th Floor
Gatineau QC  K1A 1K8

10 May 2017

Safety advisory letter 617-06/17
Related occurrence: R15V0191

Letter addressed to:
Transport Canada
Canadian Pacific Railway
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Township of Langley

Subject: Rail Safety Advisory Letter – 617-06/17: Jurisdictional responsibility for roadway markings at Crush Crescent – Glover Road crossing in Langley, BC

On 11 September 2015, northboundFootnote 1 Canadian National (CN) intermodal train Q10251-11 (the train), operating at 32 mph, struck an eastbound ambulance at the Crush Crescent - Glover Road crossing located at Mile 18.81 of the Canadian Pacific (CP) Page Subdivision in Langley, British Columbia. The train was comprised of 3 locomotives and 168 loaded container cars. It was 10,615 feet in length and weighed about 10,400 tons. The occupants in the ambulance included 2 paramedics (1 driving, 1 in the patient compartment) and a patient who was being transferred to Abbotsford Hospital. The ambulance driver sustained minor injuries. The paramedic in the patient compartment and the patient were transported by air ambulance to hospital. The patient later succumbed to injuries sustained during the collision (TSB Occurrence No. R15V0191).

The crossing, which intersects Crush Crescent and runs parallel to Glover Road, is equipped with a grade crossing warning system (GCWS), consisting of flashing lights, bell and gates. At the time of the occurrence, the roadway markings on Crush Crescent were faded and not clearly visible (Photo 1). Specifically, the 3 lanes (i.e., eastbound, left turn and westbound) at the crossing were not clearly marked with lines and arrows. In addition, the stop line for eastbound traffic (located west of the Milner storage track crossing) was visible, but severely degraded. In March 2016, while it was not the responsibility of the railway, CP re-painted some of the roadway pavement markings at the crossing.

Photo 1. Faded roadway markings at Crush Crescent - Glover Road crossing (Source: RCMP with TSB Annotations)
Image of the crossing at Crush Crescent-Glover Road

At this location, the crossing and the connected roadways are under a number of jurisdictions including:

  • Crush Crescent and 216th Street are under the jurisdiction of the Township of Langley.
  • The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has responsibility for Glover Road and for the traffic signals on Glover Road, which also control movements to and from these adjoining roads.
  • MOTI shares responsibility with CP for the interconnection of the traffic signals with the GCWS at the railway crossing that intersects Crush Crescent.
  • The operation and the maintenance of the GCWS at the grade crossing is the responsibility of CP.

In addition, maintenance of the roadway markings is to be performed by the responsible road authority. However, as there are two road authorities with adjoining jurisdictions at this location, the jurisdictional responsibility for the roadway markings is unclear:

  • The Township of Langley, referencing the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Jurisdictional Atlas, does not believe it has responsibility for the application and maintenance of the roadway markings at this crossing.
  • MOTI indicates that a clause in a CTC Order (No. 1993-R-330 for the relocation of the crossing from Mile 18.81Footnote 2 to Mile 18.83 of the CP Page Subdivision) establishes the Township of Langley as the entity responsible for the crossing and the highway approaches to the crossing.

Roadway lane markings are designed to keep vehicles on the correct portion of the roadway. While some of the roadway markings were recently re-painted by CP, these markings will inevitably fade, which may place motorists at risk. With no clear jurisdictional responsibility for roadway markings at this crossing, it is unknown if the roadway markings will be effectively maintained in the future. In addition, it is unknown if there are other grade crossings with adjoining road authorities in the province of BC that have resulted in unclear jurisdictional responsibility for roadway markings.

Given the importance of maintaining roadway markings, particularly in the vicinity of grade crossings, the jurisdictional responsibility for this activity should be resolved in a timely manner for the Crush Crescent - Glover Road crossing, and for other crossings in the province of BC where this responsibility is unclear.

Original signed by

Kirby Jang
Director
Investigation Operations, Rail/Pipeline

Cc.

  • Railway Association of Canada
  • Canadian Transportation Agency

Background information

Occurrence No.

R15V0191

Contacts

Dan Holbrook, Manager, Head Office and Western Regional Operations - Rail, Head Office, Gatineau, Quebec

Peter Hickli, Regional Senior Investigator, Richmond Regional Office, British Columbia

Date modified: