Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project/Holdom Overpass

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Email: [email protected]
Phone: 604.665.9004

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is leading a project to design and construct a new overpass over the rail lines at Holdom Avenue in Burnaby. The new overpass will support national trade growth, and aligns with the City of Burnaby’s transportation plans. When complete, it will allow for more fluid rail movement to and from port terminals in North Vancouver, and will improve safety and community access by creating more reliable travel times and better emergency response options.

The project includes:

  • A four-lane overpass extending and elevating Holdom Avenue south over the rail corridor and Still Creek and connecting with Douglas Road
  • Closing the Douglas Road rail crossing to road users once the overpass is built and operational

The port authority is working with Indigenous groups, the City of Burnaby and other stakeholders to undertake technical studies and engagements, advance the project design, and plan for project construction.

The proposed Holdom overpass is part of the Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project—a series of improvements identified by the Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum, and Transport Canada as a priority to be upgraded. In 2018, the port authority received funding from the Government of Canada to complete design and construction of the Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project, including the coordination of two CN-led rail projects.

Between 2019 and 2022, CN upgraded its rail infrastructure as part of this project, including:

  • Upgrades to the ventilation system for the Thornton Tunnel, to reduce the time between trains travelling through the tunnel
  • Constructing a new rail siding track running from Willingdon Avenue to Piper Avenue, parallel to the two existing tracks, to position trains accessing the Thornton Tunnel

For more information, see our media release, and for any questions or concerns about the rail components or rail operations, please email CN at [email protected].



Draft rendering of the Holdom overpass

Project benefits

The port authority has a positive track record of delivering high-quality projects based on best practices in sustainability, environmental protection, and engagement.

Improved public safety
by reducing the risk of collisions between trains, pedestrians, cyclist, and drivers
Reduced emissions and energy consumption 
by eliminating vehicle wait times at train crossings
Better emergency response
for police, firefighters, and ambulance to get to incidents faster and more easily
Increased job opportunities
by growing trade
More reliable commute times
by removing rail crossing delays
Public space improvements
by adding Indigenous cultural recognition, public art, seating, integration of native species into landscaping plans
Reduced congestion
by improving mobility for local residents
Improved connections for walking and cycling
by enhancing pedestrian walkways along rail crossings


  • 2017  Project submitted to the National Trade Corridors Fund for funding
  • 2018  The Government of Canada confirmed funding to design and build the project through the National Trade Corridors Fund
  • 2019 to 2022  Design and construction of tunnel ventilation upgrades and new rail track by CN 
  • 2020 to 2023  Technical analysis, design development, and public and stakeholder engagement for the Holdom overpass 
  • 2024 to 2026  Overpass construction and closure of Douglas Street crossing depending on funding and approval of final design 

Timelines are subject to change

Project partners

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Working closely with the City of Burnaby, the port authority will lead technical assessments, design development, and public and stakeholder engagement on the Holdom Avenue overpass and Douglas Road rail closure.

City of Burnaby
The Holdom overpass was first identified by the City of Burnaby 40 years ago in its transportation plan. The city is collaborating with the port authority to ensure the Holdom overpass meets the current and future needs of the community, and will be responsible for maintaining the overpass once complete.

CN operates trains on the New Westminster subdivision, and will lead the design and construction of the tunnel ventilation upgrades and new rail siding track. CN is a public company that operates under all applicable Canadian and U.S. regulatory guidelines and standards.

We acknowledge that while port-related developments provide local, regional, and national benefits, they also have the potential to affect those who live, work, or play in and around port lands and waters.

Our approach to public engagement is based on two-way communication and open dialogue, working together to ensure the community, the environment, and the economy are all considered during project planning.

We completed two phases of public engagement in 2020 and 2021 for the Holdom Overpass project. If you would like a copy of an engagement discussion guide or summary report, please reach out to [email protected]

Thank you to everyone who has participated in public engagement for the Holdom overpass.

Funding partners

This project is funded by the Government of Canada through the National Trade Corridors Fund, the port authority, and CN.

Part of Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030.