Canadian National Railway (CN) owns the Fergus and Guelph North Spurs. In addition to operating on those lines, CN also operates on the Metrolinx Guelph Subdivision.
CN brings freight traffic from Toronto to Kitchener. The freight cars are sorted in Kitchener and brought to Guelph for switching to local industries. Additionally, freight cars destinated for Preston and Wellington County industries move along County Road 124 are switched to/from the rail yard between Alma Street and Edinburgh Road in Guelph.
Freight train switching hours
CN has portions of track in the city where, once the temperature reaches 20 degrees, there are heat restrictions which limit operations. This resulted in CN having to operate as early as 5 a.m., which was disruptive to many Guelph residents. To improve operations, CN is working with a local business to create a new location for operational staff to start work, which allows CN crews to begin operations in north Guelph. This means work on the more southerly portion of track can be avoided and CN crews will begin their day closer to 8 a.m. to reduce disruptions and noise.
Train signal operations
City and CN heard concerns from the Guelph community that train warning lights and bells are operating long after the train is done a crossing of a road, causing traffic, transit, emergency service and operational delays. The train signal system was set up to accommodate more train traffic back when the CN line extended north of Guelph. CN is working to secure funding to upgrade the signals in the Edinburgh and Paisley area in 2022, so that the warning lights and bells will only operate when a train is actively blocking the rail crossing. To implement this solution, CN is proposing a cost-sharing requirement between CN Rail and the City of Guelph. CN is completing their final funding forecast for this work and City staff will review that information once complete. City staff will formally report to Council once funding proposal details are available.
For more information
CN continues to work with the City of Guelph and local stakeholders. Members of the public are encouraged to reach out to CN’s Public Inquiry Line with any questions or concerns: