Train whistle will continue to sound at Onslow crossing, despite resident’s efforts to have it silenced

Harry Sullivan
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TRURO – An Onslow-area resident’s request to eliminate the sounding of train whistles at railway level crossings has fallen on deaf ears – at least as far as CN is concerned.

Colchester County Council

A staff report to Colchester County Council said CN did not respond to a letter from the municipality about the man’s complaint regarding the train whistles. The report said the man, who is a shift worker, lives near the main line in the Onslow area.

But the staff report also included information from the federal Railway Safety Act, which regulates railways across Canada, and which indicates that train whistles are a safety device.

There is a review process in place should the municipality wish to consider the elimination of a train whistle in a given area, although the entire cost to review the issue and to install any safety devices to replace a train whistle must be borne by the municipality.

The municipality would also have to adopt a bylaw prohibiting a train whistle at a given crossing, which would then place the responsibility/liability of the decision on the county.

The report further stated that the county has approximately 22 level crossings of the CN mainline with residences within close proximity to the crossings, and if a whistle exemption was permitted for one, requests potentially could come from all the other sites for similar action.

The crossing in question has 23 residential properties directly adjacent to the rail line, all of which have been there in excess of 20 years.

The home related to the complaint, however, is “relatively new,” the report said and Councillor Ron Cavanaugh suggested that the resident would have known about the existence of the rail line when the property was purchased.

Twitter: @tdnharry 

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