VIA Rail comments on two incidents involving OC Transpo buses at crossings located in the Barrhaven area
April 29, 2014 – On Friday, April 25th and again last evening, April 28th, at approximately 19:00, an OC Transpo bus approaching a VIA Rail crossing failed to stop at the stop line although lights were flashing, indicating an approaching train. Last evening’s incident caused damages to the automatic warning device (AWD) which triggered the fail-safe mode since the gates could not return to their upright position. The fail-safe mode ensured that both road and train traffic crossed the area safely.
However, last evening’s incident, at Fallowfield Road, resulted in damages being caused to the AWD gate by the OC Transpo bus. The OC Transpo bus stopped beyond the stop line and under the gate, as it was being lowered. The damage caused to the gate prevented it from remaining upright thus, triggering the fail-safe mode and extending the period during which it remained in effect with lights flashing and bells ringing. A signal maintainer was dispatched and once repaired, approximately 1 hour later, the AWD resumed normal functioning.
In light of these two (2) successive occurrences, VIA Rail interim Chief Executive Officer, Steve Del Bosco, has written to the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, and to the General Manager of OC Transpo, John Manconi and asked that the City investigate these incidents and take appropriate measures to avoid their re-occurrence. “VIA Rail will provide any assistance required by the City in ensuring that its buses approach and drive through crossings safely”, stated Steve Del Bosco. “As well, as stated on April 10 when VIA Rail announced additional measures for these crossings, we remain interested in cooperating with the City in its installation of cameras at these crossings in order to minimize inconveniences to the public by accelerating the response times of the appropriate personnel. These cameras may also provide both the City of Ottawa and VIA Rail with better information of activities in the area.”
Up-to-date information about Barrhaven crossings is available on the webpage “Information for Ottawa area residents” www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/information-ottawa-area-residents, on Twitter @VIA_rail or on Facebook .
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide safe, efficient and economical travel, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500 km network. Recipient of the Railway Association of Canada's Safety Award in 2012 for the 11th time in 12 years, and of Baxter Travel Media’s 2013 Agent's Choice Award (voted on by Canadian travel agents), VIA Rail safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested more than a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Follow the progress of our transformation at http://www.viarail.ca/transformingvia.