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R.A.I.L. - Resdients Affected by Intermodal Lines

R.A.I.L. vigorously opposes the development of CN’s proposed Logistics Hub in Milton, Ontario. R.A.I.L. has serious and legitimate concerns with, the potential impact it will have to residents of Milton and Halton Region.  Some of our concerns include: impact to our environment; air quality; safety issues; and the effect to our quality of life. R.A.I.L. appreciates the value of intermodal when placed in an appropriate location. An Intermodal terminal is a Class III industrial facility, which belongs on existing industrial land already planned for such development and with IMMEDIATE highway access!


Why are we concerned? 

How could this affect YOU?


What is a logistics hub or an intermodal terminal?

An intermodal terminal is a facility where huge containers are transferred to and from trucks and trains.


CN’s proposal for the Milton development includes:

  • Preliminary construction of a 400 acre Logistics Hub, with room for expansion.

  • 1500+ transport truck trips daily, to start!

  • A class three industrial development on a 1000-acre parcel of land planned for other development - NOT INDUSTRIAL USE!

  • Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 

  • 365 days a year.

  • Incompatible to current developments and contrary to the Official Plan of the Town of Milton and Halton Region.


Potential lasting impacts of this development:

  • Accidents: Dramatic increase in traffic volume resulting in increased potential of accidents.

  • Air Pollution: 1500+ additional trucks driving on our roads and idling at the yard, spewing diesel emissions (a Class One Carcinogen, known to increase cancer risks). 

  • Continuous Operations: Constant truck traffic, as the facility operation is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

  • Commuting Times Increase: Increase in train length and dramatic increase in truck traffic lead to safety concerns; and increase in delays at rail crossings. GRIDLOCK!!

  • Emergency Preparedness: Increased response times for fire, ambulance & police. 

  • Environmental Impact: noise, light, dust, particulate matter, water pollution, odour, vibration, impact to wildlife, plants, fish and residents.

  • Financial Impact: Potential decrease in property values. Insurance rates may increase; and municipal taxes would increase to pay for infrastructure development and road maintenance.

  • Health: Diesel emissions are a Class I Carcinogen known to cause cancer! Imagine1500+ truck trips per day, 24/7/365.

  • Health and Safety: Consider the implication of the unknown contents of intermodal containers stored at yard and passing through, could this pose health, security and terrorist threats? 

  • Pollution: Air, noise, light pollution, dust and particulate matter will dramatically increase.

  • Quality of Life: Proximity to residential development: air pollution, noise, lights, dust, ground vibrations, odour and safety concerns.

  • Safety: Increased traffic volume makes local roads less safe for everyone. An increase in response times for emergency vehicles, traffic safety concerns due to traffic congestion and road deterioration, as well as health implications due to pollution.

  • Road Deterioration: Up to 99,000,000 additional pounds of truck and container traffic on our local roads each and every day (29 km of trucks). Consider 1500+ trucks beating up our local roads each day!

  • Taxes: Substantial road deterioration. Increased Municipal taxes due to the additional cost for infrastructure development and repairs required due to intermodal terminal truck traffic - CN does NOT pay.

  • Tourism: View from the escarpment will change forever. Consider how could this impact tourism?

  • Traffic GRIDLOCK: 1500+ additional transport truck trips per day – TO START! Using the roads YOU drive on each day. 

  • Water Pollution: Spills and contaminations from yard activity; accumulation of dust and particulate matter.



Panel Review Process / An Environmental Assessment by a Review Panel 

Regarding the CN Proposed Logistics Hub Project  - 80100


The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, announced June 20, 2015 the referral of the environmental assessment of the proposed Milton Logistics Hub Project in Ontario to an independent review panel.

The decision to refer the environmental assessment of the project to an independent review panel was made after considering its potential to cause significant adverse environmental effects and concerns expressed by the public and Aboriginal groups in relation to these effects.


The Minister has set timelines for the environmental assessment of the project as follows:

  • Review panel to be established (pre-panel phase) is 150 days (5 months) from the date of the referral of the project.

  • Review panel to submit its report (panel phase) is 430 days (14 months) from the date of the establishment of the review panel.

  • Federal Minister's decision statement (post-panel phase) is 150 days (5 months) from the date of the submission of the review panel’s report.


The above timelines do not include the time the proponent takes to complete its work or gather information required for the environmental assessment.

Quick Facts: The Canadian National Railway Company is proposing the construction and operation of a railway yard with more than 20 kilometres of track located in Milton, Ontario, about 50 kilometres west of Toronto.


Information on the project and the environmental assessment process is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, reference number 80100.


For the Milton project, the next step is a Comment period on draft review panel terms of reference and joint review panel agreement.


10. Comment period on draft review panel terms of reference and joint review panel agreement, if applicable – For a federal-only review panel, the Agency will prepare draft terms of reference for the review panel and conduct a public comment period. For a joint review panel, the Agency will work with the other jurisdiction to draft a joint review panel agreement, including terms of reference, and conduct a joint public comment period on this document. The terms of reference establish the mandate and authorities of the review panel, as well as the procedures and timelines for the review panel.


The Draft Terms of Reference for the Review Panel will be available for public comment in the coming months. It will outline the general process steps for the review, specific timelines, and what the review panel will be required to consider. The Terms of Reference may include variations from the process described in the Basics of Environmental Assessment link, as appropriate for this assessment.  Link to:


There is currently no deadline for the Minister to appoint the members of the Review Panel. The pre-panel phase is set to last up to 5 months, but that time will only start once CN submits its Environmental Impact Statement to the Agency.


Let Your Voice be Heard:  Write - Email - Call!  

The next step is a Panel Review Process. You may sign up for our Milton Rail newsletter to learn more. Send an email to and type “Add me” in the subject line, to be included.


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