Thursday, May 12, 2016

Improvements to Corkstown Road crossing

For those of us in Ottawa that are dedicated (crazy?) enough to follow the last remaining freight train on the Beachburg Subdivision, this may be good news. I read the other day that the City of Ottawa has received nearly $20,000 to fund safety improvements at the Fallowfield Road level crossing on the Smiths Falls Subdivision and other safety improvements at another crossing. What a surprise it was when I read that the city received $4,800 to fund small improvements to the Corkstown Road crossing on CN's Beachburg Subdivision in Nepean.
Corkstown Road crossing on CN's Beachburg Sub in 2014

The money, which is coming from a $10.9-million Transport Canada rail safety fund, will help pay for new LED warning lights on these crossing signals at Corkstown Road. Right now, there are incandescent bulbs installed. So what, you might be thinking. What's the significance of replacing a few bulbs on a line that hosts one train in either direction each week?

Well, to me, it's a positive sign that we will continue to see the Arnprior local operate each week, even if it's just once a week. Someone obviously thought the operations on this line warranted this small improvement.

Dare I even suggest that maybe these improvements were made because of other potential changes on this line, like increased traffic? I doubt it, but we can all dream, right? Remember that Nylene Canada, the customer at the end of the Renfrew Spur, has mused about looking at ways at increasing the use of the trackage out to its plant. The company, which owns the Renfrew Spur, has never elaborated on its vision for the line (the city owns the land beneath the right-of-way).

Fall 2015 meet with an eastbound Arnprior local consist returning to Walkley Yard

As for Fallowfield Road crossing, the federal money will go toward realigning light standards and other poles around the crossing, in an effort to improve sightlines on the busy road. Those of you who read this blog know that the railway crossings through Barrhaven have been the source of frustration for local residents, due to a number of signal malfunctions in recent years. You will also recall the tragic collision in 2014 when a city bus collided with a train at the nearby Woodroffe Avenue Transitway crossing. That accident killed five passengers and the bus driver.

May 2015 meet with a Via corridor train as it crosses the Fallowfield crossing

You can read about the railway crossing funding here.


Eric said...

Great track improvement updates, Michael. Thanks for keeping us up to date!

Michael said...

That's the beauty of a blog. You can write about light bulbs being replaced and people will still read the post!

Eric said...

How many Torontonians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Just one, then two million more to discuss what a world-class event that was. Or how many psychoanalysts? Just one, but the lightbulb really, really has to want to change.
Love blog comments!

AJ said...

Hey. Another update! CN was doing a test if the corckstown road crossing right now. Just saw the lights going for the test as I was heading into Kanata and thought I caught a break on a rare Tuesday run. They had a van that looked like a Bell work van and there was a quad cab CN work Truck parked on the west side or the crossing. Tried to snap a quick pic from the highway bridge but no luck.

AJ said...

And as you mentioned, this will be fantastic news as to the longterm plans for the line!

Michael said...

Good catch, AJ. Let's hope we have something to talk about re: Beachburg in the not-too-distant future.