The crossing guard may be back at Fansher Road as Canadian Pacific Railway and Dawn-Euphemia officials try to figure out the best solution to make three rural rail crossings safe.
Last month, a 78-year old Newbury man died when his grain truck was hit at the Euphemia Line crossing. The crossing is one of three unsignaled crossings in the area where the train tracks and the road are at a difficult angle for drivers to see if a train is coming. Transport Canada had expressed concern about the crossings and has been working with CP and Dawn-Euphemia on a solution since 2013.
The death of Michil DeMaiter lead to Transport Canada ordering the crossing at Euphemia Line and Bilton Line blocked off and Fansher protected by a crossing guard until a solution can be found.
CP went to Dawn-Euphemia Council Dec. 7, willing to pay the full cost of signalizing one of the three crossing and leaving it up to the municipality to either close the others or pay to have signals placed at one and close the other.
Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad says the municipality can’t afford the $350,000 cost and wants CP to pay for $425,000 for two, with the municipality paying the extra $175,000. CP has yet to respond to the municipality’s request.
While this was happening, Fansher Road – which initially was guarded by a crossing guard – was opened to traffic with signs warning of the crossing. But Transport Canada says that is not enough.
In an email to The Independent Clay Cervoni of Transport Canada’s communications department says CP has been ordered to return the crossing guard to Fansher Road immediately.
“The Order instructs CP to not allow railway equipment or movements to occupy the crossing at mile 39.19 (Fansher Road) unless the train speed is limited to 10MPH until the crossing is fully occupied or, if operationally more feasible at current track speed, the crossing is to be manually protected by a flag person,” he writes.
“The order will remain in place until the immediate threat is resolved.”
CP had earlier voiced concerns saying having a crossing guard at the road was a high cost solution and urged Dawn-Euphemia to work with them for a more permanent solution quickly.
Jennifer Benedict, CP’s manager of public works East told council CP wanted to “come up with a plan that makes everyone happy…the reality is we have the responsibility to make these crossings safe.”