'Just can’t keep up': Sask. RM councillor worries CN, CP falling behind on rail crossing repairs
Published Monday, October 7, 2019 6:16PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, October 8, 2019 11:47AM CST
RM OF REDFORD --The railway crossings near the communities of Wilkie and Scott have been rough for a few years, according to Scott resident Bill Risling.
Risling is concerned about traffic safety at a CN rail crossing locatedon Range Road 3205.
Weather conditions and time of day can be factors when approaching an on-coming train, he said in an interview with CTV News.
“We want to see if CN can put up a beacon and a solar panel. In the fog you have to have a beacon to see that the train is coming.”
Several vehicles have collided with an oncoming train at this site over the last few years, with additional crashes occurring nearby, he said.
“About three or four vehicles got hit right here,” said Risling. “Five miles west here a couple died when the train hit them.”
Daryl Glackin, a councillor for the RM of Redford, said he’s concerned about the conditions of the CN and CP rail lines which run through the area
“There's been a lot of problems, due to I think lack of maintenance, proper maintenance,” said Glackin.
The tracks need to be dug out and replaced often because of soggy conditions, Glackin said.
Glackin said he also worries about derailments that he believes could be caused by planks shifting from farm vehicles passing through.
“My crossing that I used the other day the planks were this high, and my little Ranger truck when I pulled up to it would sit and spin, that's how high the planks are,” Glackin said, describing his experience driving over a CP rail crossing.
'Heavier, faster' trains
Glackin said he’s worried that CP and CN are falling behind when it comes to maintaining the crossings in the RM.
“The train traffic has gotten heavier, faster and they just can’t keep up to the maintenance.”
And while CN and CP cover the cost of maintenance for the tracks at crossings, Glackin said the cost of maintaining the roadway immediately before the crossing currently falls on the RM. He believes rail companies should foot the bill instead.
“Why is that an RM's responsibility?”
CN Rail said in a statement to CTV News that while its crossings respect the current regulations in place, it encourages citizens to reach out to CN’s Public Inquiry Line at 1-888-888-5909 for any comments or questions regarding a specific crossing.
“We work closely with the communities where we operate and their feedback allows us to improve safety, which we believe is a shared responsibility.”
CP Rail said in a statement that this is the first it has heard of these issues and that the road authority has not expressed concern to CP regarding rail crossings in the area. CP said it has reached out to the rural municipality regarding this issue.