Town of Canmore

Railway Avenue

Railway Avenue is a key transportation corridor in town. It is due for major underground utility work and at the same time we will be making sure its design is consistent with the goals set out in the Integrated Transportation Plan. This project has been split into three main sections that will undergo construction in phases - Railway Ave South, Railway Ave Central and Railway Ave North. Details and drawings for each section can be found below. Some of the goals for this project include:

  • Enable a greater range of transportation options and opportunities for residents and visitors
  • Apply a functional and recognizable street design that accommodates all modes (walking, cycling, transit, goods movement, private passenger vehicles)
  • Apply best practice guidelines for street design that will enable 40% non-vehicular travel at peak times (summer, long weekends) (30% in winter months)
  • Facilitate movement of people into the Town Centre and encourage through-traffic and transportation of goods on other routes around the outside of Town Centre

Get Involved

To read the Railway Ave concept design brief from the July 2, 2019 council meeting pdf click here (41.68 MB)

The concept design brief has been accepted by Council for planning purposes with the first section - Railway Ave South  - approved to proceed to detailed design and construction. Railway Ave South  encompasses the intersection of Bow Valley Trail and Railway Ave. and continues along Railway Ave. to the railway tracks, and along Bow Valley Trail to the Coast Hotel location.

A number of other transportation projects that connect into Railway Avenue have been combined into a larger project which will start in 2020, more information on this can be found here: Transportation Improvement Program 2020

Phase One - Discovery

The initial phase of engagement on Railway Ave occurred in 2018. During this phase key stakeholders and residents were asked to identify their experiences while they are travelling along the corridor so that they can be considered and addressed in the initial concept design. This phase of engagement occurred during the spring and summer of 2018 and consisted of an online mapping tool, open house and stakeholder meetings.

pdf Railway Avenue what we heard summary phase 1 (107 KB)

Phase Two - Concept Design Refinement

Phase two of engagement will involve working with directly impacted stakeholders and the general public to refine the concept design where appropriate. This phase of engagement will take place later in 2019 for Railway Ave South (intersection of BVT and Railway Ave) and in 2020 for the other two sections of the road. More information and details on ways to get involved will be made available once confirmed. 

Railway Ave South

The concept design for Phase 1 - Railway Avenue South primarily consists of the intersection at Railway and Bow Valley Trail, with pedestrian connection into Spring Creek Mountain Village, and the intersection with Old Canmore Road.

The intersection design includes a similar vehicle configuration as today and includes additional medians and separated facilities for walking and cycling. The most significant change is with the lane configuration, with one dedicated lane from each direction feeding into the Town Centre. Modifications were also considered for the intersection of Old Canmore Road with Bow Valley Trail. A southbound left turn bay is proposed to be introduced on Bow Valley Trail at Old Canmore Road, and accessing Bow Valley Trail from Old Canmore Road is to be limited to right turn only.

The intent of the configuration is as follows:

  • Allows turning movements for all other directions to continue unimpeded when a train is blocking Railway Avenue.
  • By reducing traffic into the Gateway and Town Centre areas, traffic volumes entering the most congested portions of the network are limited to the roadway capacity. While two lanes of traffic on Railway Avenue will remain in the short-term, the final design recommends only having one lane heading towards downtown.

Railway Ave/BVT intersection

Timelines & Engagement: Detailed design and construction of Phase 1 - Railway Avenue South will proceed immediately for 2020 construction start. The first phase of engagement on Railway Ave has taken place (see below), further engagement for this phase with directly impacted stakeholders will assist in refining the design and inform stakeholders of expected impacts.

Railway Ave Central

Railway Avenue Central is focused around the Main and 10th Street intersections and connects through new pedestrian and cycle facilities to the north and south sections of Railway. Intersections are proposed to be protected, meaning vulnerable road users are physically separated from vehicles, and see the removal of 'slip lanes' which are more appropriately suited for conditions with high speeds and volumes of cars and few or no pedestrians. Intersections are otherwise signalized traditionally, with turn lanes for vehicles and medians to allow for two stage road crossings.

The central median is a core feature of the corridor, designed to limit access and keep traffic flowing smoothly and consistently. Turn movements are accommodated at U-turn locations for passenger vehicles, while larger trucks navigate to destinations via Bow Valley Trail and the Trans-Canada Highway. Vehicle traffic up to and beyond 20,000 vehicles per day - above today's volumes, are accommodated by a single lane in each direction with turn bays at appropriate intersections and access points.

Railway Avenue Central is width-constrained, and parking cars here interrupts traffic flow. The primary function of this corridor is the movement of people and vehicles, with parking recommended to be accommodated off-street.

Railway Ave from Elevation Place to Main Street

Railway Ave from Main Street to Safeway and 10th Street intersection

Timelines & Engagement: Engagement on Phase 2 – Railway Avenue Central will begin in 2020. Design will progress after further engagement and after data is collected after the construction of Railway Avenue South. The final design and construction will be subject to additional Council approvals. Construction is planned in the 6-year capital budget for 2022/2023.

Railway Ave North

Railway Avenue North consists of major intersections at Bow Valley Trail and 17th Street, and minor intersections to industrial, commercial, and residential areas within the northern portion of the Gateway District. The 2018 Integrated Transportation Plan (ITP) update identifies capacity in 17th Street and Fairholme for access to the Town Centre and west side of the Bow River. The ITP envisions a small increase in traffic on this corridor, accommodated by changes to the intersection at 17th Street to give more priority to traffic accessing onto and off of that corridor. The intersection requires signalization, particularly during times of congestion and after a train crossing.

The design envisions further access control along the north end of Railway Avenue by way of continuation of the central median, and a significant change to the intersection at Gateway Street where signals would be removed in favour of a free flow intersection configuration with yield control. Facilities to enable walking and cycling are proposed as a combination of facilities on public property and private easements.

Railway Ave Safeway intersections

Railway Ave 17 Street and Bow Valley Trail intersections

Timelines & Engagement: Engagement on Phase 3 - Railway Avenue North will begin in 2020. Design will progress after further engagement and after data is collected after the construction of Railway South. The final design and construction will be subject to additional Council approvals. Construction is expected towards the end of the 6-year capital budget window or beyond.


For more information contact:

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