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North Vancouver grain terminal plans to add 15 new rail lines

Last undeveloped port property on the North Shore to hold 15 rail lines

Richardson International is seeking to expand its North Vancouver waterfront grain terminal’s rail yard, adding 15 new tracks at the foot of St. Patricks Avenue.

The Winnipeg-based grain distributor is collecting public feedback on the proposal, which will be vetted by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority before it can be approved.

If approved, it would see the port’s last vacant waterfront property on the North Shore developed.

The company cites a need for greater efficiency at the terminal as the impetus for the project. As it currently operates, CN Rail trains must be separated into two and unloaded in phases while half of the cars are kept waiting in the Lynn Creek area.

The increased efficiency should boost the terminal’s overall capacity by 17 per cent, the company estimates. Once completed, the terminal will be able to process 280 railcars per day, up from the current 240.

Richardson estimates the amount of grain they can process at the site will grow from six megatonnes per year to seven, although the actual volume handled will be subject to the amount grown in a given year, shipping availability and demand overseas.

Although it will be more efficient in terms of handling grain, it will require more locomotives on the property, closer to existing homes in Moodyville, and longer operating hours for the grain elevator.

A noise study submitted by a third-party consultant estimates the changes will result in a terminal that is no more than one decibel louder than it currently is for residents living in the first three blocks between St. Andrews Avenue and Moody Avenue, maxing out at 72 decibels for those living closest to the terminal’s grain elevator.

The percentage of nearby residents who would be “highly annoyed,” by noise coming from the site would be less than two per cent, the consultant predicted.

The consultant concluded the increase in noise was small enough that the project would not require further noise mitigation.

In the last 10 years, there have been no noise complaints submitted from the community, according to the written application.

The deadline to submit public comment via is this Friday (Dec. 17).

The company estimates construction will take about five months.