Latest Image


Current image of 50th Street Crossing

50th Street Train - LiveCam

 

Crossings

31

Avg. crossings / day
(last 14 days)*

Peak

2 PM

Busiest Hour
(starts at)*

Duration

04:39

Avg. crossing time
(last 24 hrs)*

Longest

13:46

Longest crossing
(last 24 hrs)*


*Statistics are not 100% accurate and are for entertainment purposes only as we're still working on the detection algorithm.
 

 

The 50th Street Train


50th Street is the name of two arterial North-South Roads in Edmonton Alberta. Separated by the North Saskatchewan River, 50th Street (north) runs from the 'Ada Boulevard' neighborhood to the Yellowhead Highway (and further into north Edmonton residential areas).

South of the North Saskatchewan River, 50th street carries traffic from the River areas south through Millwoods to the neighbourhoods of Walker and Charlesworth. It then contines south as highway 814 to Beaumont and through Leduc county towards Wetaskiwin.

The crossing of the CP Rail lines at 82 Avenue between the Sherwood Park Freeway and 90th Avenue has a long history of irritiation for Edmonton Drivers.

The CPR Lambton Park Yard (Scotford) is a light freight marshalling yard on Morris Road that sits immediately east of 50th street at 82nd Avenue. Handling a significant amount of rail freight, the switching operations of the yard cause daily blockages to 4 lanes of traffic - often for periods over 10 minutes. Drivers in Edmonton's southeast are no doubt familiar with blockages creating traffic tie-ups to the south that often extend all the way to the Whitemud freeway several kilometers away.

In May of 2018, the City of Edmonton announced the plan to start moving forward to alter 50th Street and remove the 'trouble' area around the CP crossing. You can learn more about the project at the 50 Street Widening project - City of Edmonton City-run Projects and Plans site.

 

The Traincam


Mtek Digital is an Online Marketing company in Edmonton Alberta. Located just a few hundred meters from the 50th Street rail crossing, we - and many of our clients - are regularly impacted by train delays. We understand that it's part of the way things move around this amazing country, but that doesn't mean we love it.

Since our office is so close, the folks at the Poplar Business Centre were kind enough to allow us access to mount a high quality camera on the roof. This gave us the ability to monitor the crossing on a daily basis, and since we do 'web stuff' building IsThereATrain.com was no-brainer. We didn't however realize how tricky building detection algorithms would be, or how tricky building a stable platform for the camera would be! It's been a regular 'ongoing' project for nearly a month to get the system stable, and 'working' - though we're still tuning detection!

Next up will be a live status update feed on twitter, which will operate until construction of the additional lanes on 50th street begins, and the underpass starts development. At that time, we'll switch to a more 'construction livecam' sort of implementation - while trying to maintain notifications of road interruptions as possible.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


"What is the delay between 'actual' time and the time the image is updated?"

Images are captured in real time, and we extract a single frame every 10 seconds. This image is then compressed, and transferred to the server. We believe that the turnaround of each single image is between 1/2 second and a second. The site reloads the 'current' image - every 10-15 seconds, making the current image as 'new' as 2 seconds, and as old as 12 seconds.

"What is the delay on the live feed (youtube) stream?"

In our experience, the YouTube feed operates on a load based delay. Video is captured from the camera, downgraded to 1080p, and sent directly to the YouTube ingest servers. YouTube then processes the stream, and outputs the video with a total delay of between 7 and 15 seconds.

"How accurate is the detection algorithm?"

Train detection is more difficult than we had anticipated. Using the lights as a keying trigger, we're able to catch about 90% of activations (best guess) with troubles during dawn and dusk where contrast lowers significantly. Also difficult is that the forward lights on the train at night can overwhelm our detection from time to time triggering short 'active' periods.

"Can I use the pictures from the site?"

We're generally ok with you using the still frames however, if you're providing a service or selling those images in some form - we have to be a bit more prickly. The images and video feed captured by the Camera are under copyright and is therefore not 'free for use'. If you have something in mind, just contact us (link in footer) and we can talk about it. Unauthorized use of the images, content, or abuse of the detection system will be subject to DMCA takedown notifications at a minimum.

"My Android phone isn't showing the 'ALL CLEAR' status line!"

We've identified an issue with Chrome in which 'Lite Mode' and caching can prevent this from appearing. To fix it - open the browser menu while on isthereatrain.com, and disable 'Lite Mode' in the settings menu.(The three-dots menu) Then, click 'Use desktop Site', pull down to reload, and then enter the settings again, and uncheck 'Use desktop Site'. This should clear the cache.

"Can you put up a camera at [insert location here] because it's bad too!"

We built this livecam because the crossing is in our neighborhood (~300m from our office) and as such have the ability to place a camera, and have access to the necessary infrastructure to maintain it. In future - we may add links to other crossing camera locations, but we aren't in a position to add equipment and networking to other locations.

"Do you take donations?"

We've thought about this and at the moment, we're happy to simply have people visit! While that may change in the future - for now, if you'd like to say thanks just head over to our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/mtekdigital subscribe and watch a few of our videos!


 

Grade Crossing Regulations

 

Of course - we all hate it when the train blocks our way home, or to work, or to whatever. There are in fact specific regulations that pertain to the duration of the closure of 50th Street for rail operations. Specifically, Transport Canada states that there is a "maximum time" during which a train may block a crossing.

CP Operations no doubt does their best to manage large sections - but the proximity to the 50th street intersection is so close, we're sure they are often challenged to keep closures to a minimum. As we've all been curious - there are certainly regulations that direct these operations - but we've come to accept that one way or another, the train must roll!

It is considered a violation of the Railway Traffic Act and subject to report when:

"rolling stock occupies a main track or subdivision track, or track work takes place, in contravention of the Rules or any regulations made under the Railway Safety Act;"


This is identified as a reportable occurrance in category "F".

Regulation 97 Section 2 of the Grade Crossings Regulations states:

"Obstruction of Grade Crossing
Prohibitions
(2) It is prohibited for railway equipment to be left standing on a crossing surface, or for switching operations to be conducted, in a manner that obstructs a public grade crossing — including by the activation of the gate of a warning system — for more than five minutes when vehicular or pedestrian traffic is waiting to cross it."

(SOR/2014-275 of the Railway Safety Act)

To report violations visit: https://www.alberta.ca/trains-blocking-a-crossing.aspx