Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project / Holdom Overpass

Phase one engagement

The first phase of public engagement is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their feedback with us.  The engagement summary is available online here.

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Procurement opportunities

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The port authority is leading a project to design and construct a new overpass of the rail lines in Burnaby along Holdom Avenue. 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 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 Holdom Avenue south over the rail corridor and Still Creek and connecting with Douglas Road
  • Closure of the existing Douglas Road rail crossing to vehicles

The port authority is now focusing on working with Indigenous groups, the City of Burnaby and other stakeholders to undertake technical studies, stakeholder and public engagement, advance 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.

CN will be upgrading their rail infrastructure this year, including:

  • Upgrades to the ventilation system for the Thornton Rail Tunnel
  • A new rail siding track running from Willingdon Avenue to Piper Avenue, parallel to the two existing tracks, to accommodate trains accessing the Thornton Tunnel

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 environmental sustainability, environmental protection, and engagement. Anticipated benefits of this project include:

Improved public safety:
reduced risk of collisions between trains, pedestrians, cyclist and drivers.
Reduced emissions:
reduced emissions and energy use by eliminating vehicle wait times at train crossings.
Better emergency response:
faster, easier access to incidents for first responders
Increased job opportunities:
growth in local jobs via growth in trade.
More reliable commutes:
improved reliability of roads by eliminating blockages caused by rail traffic.
Public space improvements:
creation of public space improvements such as Indigenous cultural recognition, public art, seating, integration of native species in landscaping plans, etc.
Reduced congestion:
improved mobility for residents and more efficient movement of goods.
Improved connections for walking and cycling:
enhanced walking and cycling facilities associated with the crossings.


The below timeline shows historical events as well as the project’s anticipated timeline.

  • 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
  • 2019-2020 – Design and construction of tunnel ventilation upgrades and new rail track by CN
  • 2020-2021 – Technical analysis, design development, and public and stakeholder engagement for the Holdom Overpass
  • 2022-2024 – Overpass construction and closure of Douglas Street crossing will depend on funding and approval of final design

Timelines are subject to change.

Project partner roles

Successfully delivering this project will require collaboration with the City of Burnaby, local Indigenous groups, and CN. We will be working closely with these organizations to ensure the project addresses their particular needs.

This project has three delivery 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 Street closure.

City of Burnaby
The Holdom overpass was first identified by the City of Burnaby 40 years ago in their transportation plan. They are collaborating with the port authority to ensure the Holdom overpass responds to the current and future needs of the community. They will own and maintain the Holdom overpass when complete.

CN operates trains on the Westminster Subdivision. As the long-term leaseholder from BNSF, they will lead 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 may provide local, regional, and national benefits, they may also have potential effects on those who live, work or operate in and around port areas.

Our approach to public consultation 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.

Phase one public engagement summary – August 2020 – Holdom overpass phase one engagement summary

Phase one public engagement – Now closed

Between April 14 and May 15, 2020, we invited those who live, work and play in Burnaby to share their ideas with us about the Holdom Overpass. This was the first phase of a three-phase engagement process to ensure the community of Burnaby is involved as the project progresses and has opportunities to provide feedback to the project team.

In support of the federal government’s guidance to practice social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we hosted the first phase of engagement remotely. People were able to engage during this phase by:

To be notified when the engagement summary is released, and when the next phase of public engagement opens, please sign up for our newsletter.

Funding partners

Funding for road and rail improvements provided by the Government of Canada through the National Trade Corridors Fund, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and CN.

Part of Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030.