Township rejects restrictions on train whistling

BRUCEDALE – Train whistles will continue to sound in Guelph-Eramosa after township council rejected the possibility of restricting their use.

Council members received requests during last fall’s election campaign to consider restrictions on the noisy railroad practice, especially in Rockwood.

They discussed the issue at a May 15 committee of the whole meeting, voting to support a recommendation from CAO Ian Roger to maintain the whistling. The decision was endorsed at the council meeting on June 3.

“Whistling at railway crossings takes place as a safety measure for anyone attempting a crossing,” said Roger. “Staff do not support the elimination of railway whistling at any crossings in the municipality.”

Transport Canada does allow for discontinuation of whistling, except in the case of emergencies, but it requires a study of other possible measures, agreement with the railway, a new bylaw and possibly additional insurance provided by the municipality.

Anti-whistling in Rockwood would have applied to 10 GO Train trips every weekday, between 5:45 and 7:45am and 5 and 8:15pm, plus any freight train traffic. There are crossings on Wellington Road 50 (Harris Street), Wellington Road 27 (Main Street) and 4th Line.

Safety upgrades to mitigate the removal of whistling could have included additional signage and markings.

It could have cost $30,000 to $40,000 to install sidewalk pedestrian barriers at two locations along Main Street in Rockwood, plus annual operating costs.