VIA Rail Slope Stabilization - Old Sly's Lockstation, 2024-25

VIA Rail is intending to retain the services of a Contractor to complete improvements to the masonry abutments and approach embankments of VIA Rail's bridge at Mile 1.20 of the Brockville Subdivision. The existing bridge at Mile 1.20 of the Brockville Subdivision carries a single track over the Rideau Canal National Historic Site and is located immediately downstream of the entrance to Parks Canada's Lock 27 (Old Sly's Lockstation) in the Town of Smiths Falls. The purpose of this project is to reconstruct and reinforce the approach embankments immediately adjacent to the bridge abutments so VIA Rail can continue to provide safe rail operations at this location.

Improvements to the approaches include replacing the existing gabion basket retaining wall and stacked stone retaining walls that have reached the end of their useful life. Reconstruction will be achieved through new reinforced concrete retaining walls supported on micro piles and anchored together with pre-tensioned tiebacks. Slope grading beyond the limits of concrete retaining walls will be implemented to further stabilize the embankment. Other improvements include cleaning all masonry and repointing all masonry joints on the bridge abutments and the south-east retaining wall, and the addition of new galvanized handrails along the top of the new retaining walls.

The Contractor is required to complete this project without impacting rail traffic. The only exception is the temporary and permanent relocation of the existing buried signal infrastructure, which is required to be completed on night shift. All other construction will be completed during carefully selected work blocks while normal rail service is maintained on the existing track, and without any impact to the existing track and track bed.

The Contractor is anticipated to commence work in summer 2024, continuing into summer of 2025. In addition to the main scope, the project will involve vegetation removal, installation of a temporary access road and laydown areas, and site restoration include tree planting. The completion of the Impact Assessment will include an analysis of potential impacts to Species at Risk and other valued components, and will include guidance and advice from subject matter experts.


Latest update

May 23, 2024 – The public comment period on the project is closed. Parks Canada and Via Rail Canada Inc. are considering comments received to help inform its determination on whether the carrying out of the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.


Key documents


Rideau Canal National Historic Site
34 Beckwith Street South
Smiths Falls, Ontario K7A 2A8
Telephone: 613-283-5170 or 1-888-773-8888
Fax: 613-283-0677

  • Location

    • Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Railways
    • Maintenance activities (fences, walls)
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Via Rail Canada Inc.
  • Authorities

    • Parks Canada Agency
    • Via Rail Canada Inc.
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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