A Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure illustration shows what drivers will see when a train passes through Langley. (file)

Digital train warning signs are, finally, online in Langley and Surrey

Much-delayed project was held up by higher-than-expected bids and ‘technical challenges’

Six long-delayed digital railway crossing signs to help drivers avoid train traffic are now live in the City of Langley, Township of Langley and Surrey.

A Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure statement said the signs “went live” around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 4th.

Called the Railway Crossing Information System (RCIS), the system aims to reduce traffic tie-ups by alerting drivers on specific roads when a train is approaching a level crossing, so they can divert to one of eight overpasses.

Originally part of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project, which was finished in 2014, the signs were expected go up around the time the final overpass of nine was constructed along the corridor between Delta and Langley at Glover Road and Mufford Crescent in early September 2014.

But, when the project was put out to tender in the fall of 2014, the bids received were well over the $3.8 million figure budgeted.

READ MORE: Electronic rail warning signs for Langley and Surrey delayed again

After several postponements, the ministry issued an statement on Jan. 28 that said the Railway Crossing Information System (RCIS) has had “technical challenges.”

In response to a follow-up request for more detail, the ministry said the “Railway Crossing Information System (RCIS) is a first of its kind system in Canada and will set the groundwork for similar systems in the future. Therefore, it is important that the project team take all necessary steps to get the implementation right.”

It went on to say the project team has been working to complete “necessary technical testing and fine-tuning of the system prior to its implementation.”

“We want to ensure the system functions as intended, not just on day one, but for years to follow, so that drivers will continue to benefit,” it added.

READ ALSO: Signs of the distracted times

Congestion at level crossings is expected to worsen, with the three busiest roads in the core Langley commercial area, Fraser Highway, 200 Street and Highway 10 (Langley Bypass), having at-grade rail crossings.

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