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Another pedestrian killed on Guelph’s railways. When will we take action?. At least 10 killed in last 10 years in Guelph.

By shost at 9:44 am on Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Folks, this is an unsettling topic, but very important, and cannot be overlooked:

On Saturday night another pedestrian was killed on the “Goderich Exeter” railway in Guelph, when a VIA train struck the tresspasser in Guelph’s east end. A small Guelph Mercury  report on monday  may gloss over the death as just another occasion, but this is turning into an epidemic: At least one person per year is killed on Guelph’s railroads and the vast majority of them are on the high speed Goderich and Exeter railway (former CN) Mainline. These are preventable.

Why is this happening?

Simply — the majority of deaths are caused by pedestrians, using the railway as a shortcut. This is TRESSPASSING and is very dangerous. Anyone in the right mind should NOT be doing this, after all, do you walk in the middle of roads, when things seem quiet in the middle of the night? Why are railways any different?

I call on the City of Guelph to launch a dialog with the Railways, especially the Goderich and Exeter Railway/CN to find a way to help prevent these deaths. It should be noted the number of deaths on the Guelph Junction Railway are very few, the majority of problems are on the GEXR/CN/VIA railway line due to the volume of traffic and high speed of travel outside of Downtown. However, like the CN mainline the GJR still has  tresspassing problems which set a precedent across the city that it is OK to walk along railway tracks. No folks, it is not, you can get killed and many have been killed.

Suggestions:

  • More active City of Guelph Police / CN Police cooperation and patrolling to help target tresspassing and issue tickets
  • Fence the high risk areas, such as the viaducts on the east and west end of town. They are used as shortcuts by residents when trains can be as fast as 60 MPH (100 KM/H) and with a raised viaduct, there is no where to go when the train approaches. Remember, trains cannot stop for you.
  • Fencing downtown to reduce access to track level, especially near the high level bridge and at the pedestrian tunnel downtown
  • More involvment in Schools to teach young people the dangers of tresspassing on Railway tracks

If you are interested in railway safety advocacy, visit http://www.operationlifesaver.ca/

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