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Reducing rail noise and vibration is one of our top priorities. It could be noise from the machines we use to carry out essential maintenance and repairs. It could also be the sound of, or the vibrations caused by, our trains running on our tracks.

We cannot eliminate this noise and vibration altogether. As a backbone of the North American economy and a company focused on getting customer shipments delivered on time, we must operate our railroad 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So there will always be some noise.

But we are constantly working on noise reduction solutions. Even more so now, since many municipalities today have expanded ever closer to railway tracks — while CN is carrying much more freight to meet global shipping needs.

To help reduce the impact of rail noise and vibration for these neighbourhoods, CN’s Community Planning and Development department does the following:

  • Provides relevant information for land-use decision makers.
  • Helps ensure that any development adjacent to a railway corridor or yard takes rail noise and vibration mitigation measures (such as building setbacks, safety beams, acoustic barriers, security fencing and vibration isolation)

We encourage you to contact us. Our team of experts is available to review your development project plans.


Joint efforts with the following organizations have led to much progress in this area:

  • Railway Association of Canada
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators

CN’s development criteria are consistent with the best practices developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Railway Association of Canada. You can consult their guidelines at