Dawn-Euphemia rail crossing finally reopens

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The CP Tracks at Euphemia Line are now blocked. Township officials hope CP will install crossing signals before spring planting season.

 

Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad says it has been too long in coming.

Seven months after a Newbury area man died when his grain truck was hit by a train on Euphemia Line east of Cairo Road, the railway crossing has reopened.

The municipality has been working with Canadian Pacific to reopen the road since the accident but it has been a long process.

A month after the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board raised the alarm about three roads on the line; Euphemia, Fansher and Bilton Line.

CP said it would install signals on Fansher Road after the board ordered the company to slow its trains and to have a crossing guard for traffic going over the tracks. Those repairs were done in about a week.

The municipality closed the Bilton Line crossing permanently but said it would work with CP to add lights and signals to Euphemia Line, a busier road used by farmers and local businesses.

But the work has dragged on. The road was finally reopened this week. “You’re at the mercy of CP Rail and their crews and their contractors to get things done,” says Broad who was frustrated by the process.

He says once Fansher was fixed there were no economic consequences for CP, so the work moved slowly.

The final bill for the repair isn’t known yet. Broad says generally lights and crossing arms cost $350,000. CP has agreed to pay half of that.

But the final bill for Dawn-Euphemia isn’t clear. It, along with Chatham-Kent that borders the rail line, will pay $175,000 for the signalization and the cost of realigning the road to make visibility better.

Broad is thankful a neighbour of the crossing offered the land for free, cutting the cost of the work. But there are still bills coming in, including one for nearly $15,000 from Hydro One to move hydro poles which were too close to the road. Chatham-Kent will also share in those costs.

Despite the delays and the additional costs, Broad is happy the road is finally open.

“There are a number of businesses that use the crossing a lot and are finally glad it’s open… it has been too long in coming.”

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