New Westminster Railway Bridge: Transportation needs study
From: Public Services and Procurement Canada
Learn more about the future of the New Westminster Railway Bridge (NWRB).
On this page
- Project overview
- Project description
- Benefits to Canadians
- Project background
- Latest news about this project
- Related links
- More information
- Surrey, British Columbia
Locate the New Westminster Railway Bridge on a map
- Type of project
- Partnership between
- Project status
- Study to assess the network and capacity for the New Westminster Rail Bridge and the Asia-Pacific Gateway
- Next steps
- Completion of the assessment of transportation needs and results evaluation
Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is working with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada to understand the transportation needs for freight traffic over the NWRB.
CIB is funding a study through a request for proposal. This study aims to understand the transportation needs for freight traffic through the Asia-Pacific Gateway and over the NWRB.
At the end of this study, CIB will assess its participation in the long-term investment requirement for the NWRB.
Benefits to Canadians
This bridge plays an important role in supporting the greater trade and transportation network in Canada and the United States. It is a critical link in the Vancouver-Lower Mainland rail network and the Asia-Pacific Gateway.
Over the years, rail traffic has increased. Rail capacity across the Fraser River has become an important issue for stakeholders involved in goods movement in the Lower Mainland.
Assessing replacement, rehabilitation and maintenance of the bridge will ensure the long-term efficiency and reliability of supply chains in the region and support the competitiveness of the Canadian economy.
The NWRB was built in 1904. It connects New Westminster with Surrey in British Columbia.
It is a single-track swing rail bridge of around 630 metres (2,100 feet) long, with a vertical clearance of 10 metres over the Fraser River.
It is owned by the federal government through Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). However, it’s Canadian National (CN) that has operated and maintained it since 1992 through an entrustment agreement.
Several railway companies use this bridge:
- CN Railway
- CP Railway
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway
- Southern Railway of British Columbia
- VIA Rail
- Rocky Mountaineer
Transport Canada conducted a study completed under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. This study concluded that the New Westminster Railroad Bridge was experiencing congestion. Also, the demand would surpass bridge capacity before 2030.
- Evaluation of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative and the Gateways and Borders Crossing Fund (Transport Canada)
Latest news about this project
February 1, 2021: Launch of the Request for Proposal for Network and Capacity Study for New Westminster Rail Bridge and Asia-Pacific Gateway
- Directory of Federal Real Property: New Westminster Railway Bridge site
- Canada Infrastructure Bank: Study New Westminster Railway Bridge site
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