Train Whistle Cessation: how to achieve

On April 9 Council agenda there is  a Staff Report on status of train whistles as GO train and freight (CP) pass through King City on crossings at grade. As indicated there are two key inputs for developing a sustainable strategy to achieve whistle cessation.  York Region is conducting Railway Crossing Assessment Study; anticipated completion is August 2018.  And Metrolinx needs to confirm parameters of the redesigned railway corridor.   As the report indicates Council and Staff are aligned in desire to achieve whistle cessation; as evident from the report it is going to take time.  Collaboration with both York Region and Metrolinx is key to achieving whistle cessation.  (e.g. When Metrolinx makes changes at the crossings to accommodate new corridor design changes must meet requirements for whistle cessation in terms of safety.)

26 Responses to “ “Train Whistle Cessation: how to achieve”

  1. Laura says:

    Any update on this? Markham has been able to achieve whistle cessation. How come we can’t do this same in King?

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Laura, Yes King can do this; but not immediately and very unfortunately I cannot give you a timeline. King,along with York Region has been working with Metrolinx as their project to twin the tracks progresses to ensure that the proper crossing upgrades are put in place to make the whistle cessation a reality. If we were to go ahead and install the required gates prior to the tracks being twinned there is high risk that they would be obsoleted once the twinned tracks were in place. Given that we are talking about costs/crossing being in range of $300,000 (only very rought estimate) it is not trivial when you consider that our 2020 operating budget is $44 million and the capital budget is $35 million.

  2. AManda says:

    Hello Deb. What is the status on the whistle noises ?

    • Debbie says:

      Hello Amanda, Much to my regret I have no information on Metrolinx’s schedule re: responding to our complaints about whistles at King City GO. We have several important issues that we regularly present to Metrolinx re: GO train service; we are simply receiving no specific schedule info about changes. Its a great frustration.

  3. Aaron says:

    I don’t understand why go train not WHISTLE in Richmond hill but every 15 minutes in King City is our MP or council not doing their job the train WHISTLE from 6:00 am until 11:50Pm please contact Metrolink on regular basis to solve this problem This is noice pollution

  4. We are now in 2019 and again this has got worse. I have set up a petition which has been signed by some ( This is now getting worse as the amount of trains has increased and it is close to unbearable. Can we not at least have some sort of a barrier set up which is for highways etc. We live quite close to the train and there is a literal shaking of the windows with the noise at all hours of the night.

    • Debbie says:

      I am very aware of this problem. There is not going to be a quick remedy. I have spoken to our MPP Stephen Lecce about this; he is well aware of it too. Noise barriers along the tracks are to be installed but Metrolinx has not provided details i.e. where and when.

  5. Hossein says:


    I just came across this. I was there for a couple of these meetings. Has there been any response at all from Metrolinx with respect to at least being more respectful with respect to the whistles? Over the last week I have noticed that not only has this not got better but it is noticeably worse. LAst night was the worst of all and both kids woke up. Kindly let me know. And also advise if there is anything we can do.

  6. David Sevenson says:


    There is a meeting with Debbie today. I’m planning to be there to discuss the whistle cessation at 6:30 pm. Please join if you have something to say.

    • Debbie says:

      Yes this evening 4/10 6:30-8PM in Council Chambers there is Meet the Mayor and Councillors. Look forward to talking about whistle cessation process. Had good discussion about it in Council last evening. Council asked Staff to draft a resolution to send to Metrolinx to request a change in practise of blowing whistles by train engineers. Until we have new gate infrastructure whistle blowing is required for safety but there is surely no need to “lay on the horn” as happens.

      • Seyed says:

        Thanks for letting us know. I’ll be there too.

      • Francesco says:

        I am glad the City is finally doing something about this. At the same time, I am disappointed that it has taken the City this long to act. I brought this, along with the process and relevant legislation and regulatory framework and Metrolinx’ specific plans to increase frequency (as well as their proposed timeline), to your direct attention 3 1/2 years ago and offered to do the legwork as a licensed lawyer for free. Council is only now directing Staff to draft a resolution. In fairness, perhaps the City was pre-occupied with other projects, such as its practically-accessible-only-by-car new municipal offices.

        • Debbie says:

          Hello Francesco, i) The resolution recommended by Council April 9 is to address the issue of the unnecessary long whistles often heard by residents today. I don’t believe this problem was identified 3 1/2 years ago; it has been raised as an issue by residents since the increase in GO train service. It is not the resolution identified in step 3 of the 8 step process to achieve whistle cessation. ii) I am aware that you have attended several of the Metrolinx open houses over the last couple years and that you have answered surveys; I am aware of others who have also done that. Your offer to provide legal expertise is much appreciated; there is no need for such at this time. iv) As reviewed in the Council report Staff is very aware of the steps to be followed to achieve whistle cessation. It is our intent to follow it. v) Once the new corridor design (to include the second set of tracks) is established by Metrolinx we hope to get design work on new gate infrastructure at the crossings started so that we can speed up implementation. As all of this will take time, we are trying to provide some relief by having Metrolinx enforce a more “respectful” behavior on part of the train engineers in terms of whistles.

          The new municipal office & community space will be safely accessible on foot in 2019 when streetscaping on King Road will be executed from that site to the library; that program includes sidewalks and bicycle lanes.

          • Francesco says:

            Debbie – On November 12, 2015 I wrote to Georgina Collymore at Metrolinx with a copy to you identifying several issues relating to the GO Train service and then-proposed service upgrades. One of the issues I identified and discussed with you specifically, because we discussed the entirety of my note to Georgina several months prior to me finding Georgina, was put as follows:

            “As it stands, my observations are that the train whistle is used at the Station Road crossing (and other crossings) in King City with a high level of frequency and duration (some might describe it as incessant, and some might question whether it is needlessly incessant), particularly when compared to the use of the train whistle at my old Weston station (even before the improvements were made there). To be honest, I personally find the existing use of the whistle a little aggravating, especially since the whistle continues to be blown even after the train has already crossed Station Road (whether going Northbound or Southbound). Why is the whistle employed so much at King City and should we expect this to increase as service increases throughout the corridor…”

            Not only was this issue identified as I noted above. It was identified specifically to you, and then specifically with Metrolinx with a copy to you, with several follow-ups, including with you, setting out the process and regulatory framework for doing something about it.

            • Debbie says:

              Hello Francesco, Clearly I don’t challenge the evidence, so to speak, that you had raised the issue of annoying whistle blowing 3 years ago. And indeed I know that even before then I would hear from new residents that such was an unfortunate aspect of living close to the GO. So the comment in my earlier post about the problem not being identified is incorrect, wrong. Its not my practise to ignore contributions of citizens to solve problems; hence I particularly appreciate you identifying my error.

  7. Seyed says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Great info. I am not sure if the City and Metrolinx are considering the increased train service frequency, which now really demands this cessation to happen.

    What is not clear to me is what the City is committed to do to stop the whistle and the push from your end on behalf of the residents.

    • Debbie says:

      King is committed to following the process to achieve whistle cessation. Perhaps this sounds like a feeble commitment; it is not as there is no way to skip the process as safety requirements must be met. At very bare minimum new gate infrastructure will be required; several years ago (pre announcement of frequent all day service) we did do some analysis including, looking at what some municipalities had done. As I recall required infrastructure cost was more than $200,000 per crossing. Given the capital cost it is very important that we co-ordinate with Metrolinx as it will be investing in new infrastructure to accommodate the new corridor format. Both Councillors for King City (i.e. myself and Ward 1 Councillor, Cleve Mortelliti) and Mayor Pellegrini are very aware of the issue and are committed.

  8. Peter Iaboni says:

    As well as whistle cessation, has anyone been able to find out when Metrolinx is proceeding with their commitment to install noise barriers and electrification of the trains? As well, it would useful if they published the ridership in the off hours and weekends. Why are dragging 12 train cars in the off hours when 2 cars would suffice the small number of rider So?

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Peter, I don’t think there is any doubt about electrification; only question is “when.” As for noise barriers, I know the assessments are being conducted. I totally understand your point about empty cars; I know you have sent questions to Metrolinx already on this and I can only encourage you to keep at it. Clearly they need to work out the logistics etc.

    • Hello,

      We have started a petition on to support a Whistle Cessation Application to King City and Transport Canada. Please sign the petition and offer your support. If you wish to assist further in this grassroots movement please contact me and lets get this done!

      Petition :

      contact: [email protected]

  9. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the report, please keep us updated.

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