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City discusses eliminating train whistle at public crossings

Some  Lloydminster residents might have their wish granted as a plan to eliminate train whistling has been presented to City Council. If accepted, seven crossings will be in need of upgrades which will cost approximately $2.5 million.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers says residents have asked if something can be done about the train sounds at night.

“We asked administration, let us know, maybe it’s totally out of our control or it’s totally in our control and as we found out there is some control we have, but there is more control that lies with railways and the safety. At the end of the day I think safety is number one.”

If the whistle cessation is approved, the City will have to follow an 8 step procedure which includes requirements are met at the crossings and railway companies are consulted. Currently, CN Rail and CP Rail are required to sound an audible warning as they approach.

Councillor Michael Diachuk believes that this will add no further safety benefit and that this is more of a want over a need.

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“The reality is we have a lot of noises come on during the night which includes the RCMP and the Fire Department and they’re just as loud and just as irritating and in part that’s what they’re designed to do.”

The upgrades would require flashing lights and bells at all crossings, gates are required in areas with more pedestrian traffic. The City can opt out of upgrades to five crossings due to transporting during regular business hours and lack of movement throughout the year.

“I think the ideal scenario is having the arm come down,” Diachuk says there are costs and features that the City would need to review.

“The inclusion of a fence that needs to be 400 metres either side to sort of funnel people in. As you begin to add those pieces in, I guess the question I would ask is what is our record? How many accidents have we had at these crossings? How many accidents have we had to pedestrians relative to that? Again, weigh out how big of a priority is it relative to not hear the whistle.”

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