Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Staff to discuss funding plan for barrier arms at all crossings
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 11 Oct 2006, p. 4

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A recent review of railway crossings in Halton Hills has led the Town to develop a more systematic maintenance program as well as discussing a long-term funding strategy for the installation of barrier arms at all crossings during the 2007 budget meetings. The staff review was undertaken at the request of Mayor Rick Bonnette, earlier this year following a fatal collision in Acton in March. There are two rail lines that go through Halton Hills. The Halton Subdivision line, operated by CN Rail, has eight level crossings-- three do not have barrier arms. Fourth Line and 10 Sideroad crossings have 30 trains daily and on average each day 1,600 vehicles cross the tracks. Five Sideroad (now under Milton jurisdiction) has 30 trains and 3,400 vehicles on average daily. The Guelph Subdivision line, operated by Goderich Exeter Railway, has seven level crossings-- four do not have barrier arms. The Trafalgar Rd. crossing (under Halton Region jurisdiction) has eight trains a day and 8,600 vehicles crossing daily. The Dublin Line crossing has 415 vehicles and eight trains a day crossing, Eastern Ave. crossing has 650 vehicles and eight trains per day, and the Third Line has 275 vehicles and eight trains/day. During the review Town staff visited each un-gated crossing with a Transport Canada railway safety inspector and representatives of the railway companies. As a result, both the Town and/or rail companies took action, such as relocating signs and pavement markings, trimming or removeing trees and bushes, and re-aiming signal flashers. Staff will also now establish a more organized system of annualized railway crossings inspection to address safety issues. The installation of barrier arms is a shared cost between the federal government (80%), the municipality (12.5%) and the railway operator (7.5%). A typical installation costs about $250,000. While installation is based on a set of criteria, involving traffic counts, number of trains, operating speed of the trains, and sight-line conditions, staff did set up a long-term priority strategy for future installations with the operators and Transport Canada. Application for the Five Sideroad location has already been made to Transport Canada as has the northerly rail line on Trafalgar Rd. Under Halton Hills jurisdiction, priority will be given to Fourth Line crossing or the 10 Sideroad crossing on the Halton Subdivision line, and to the Dublin Line crossing (the site of the fatal collision), the Eastern Ave. crossing and the Third Line crossing on the Guelph Subdivision line. CN (Halton Subdivision) has already agreed to do an installation estimate and Transport Canada subsidy application for at least one of its two locations. Staff is suggesting that during the 2007 budget process, council consider including in the capital budget $31,250 (12.5%) annually to allow for at least one installation a year, pending Transport Canada contribution. Budget deliberations begin in 2007. (Cynthia Gamble can be reached at cgamble@independentfreepress.com)

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11 Oct 2006
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Staff to discuss funding plan for barrier arms at all crossings