The TSB found that the bus was approaching the crossing at 67 km/h along the bus-only Transitway lane. The posted limit for buses at the time was 60 km/h. That has since been reduced to 50km/h. The board also found that the driver was likely looking at a monitor above his sun visor at the time, which may have distracted him from braking the bus. These double-decker buses are equipped with a monitor screen that allows the driver to see what is happening on the second level of the bus. Witnesses say someone was standing on the second level, which is not allowed on these buses.
These findings are heartbreaking for several reasons. Although they have given grieving families some answers, they also shine a light on the driver's error, which will no doubt haunt his family for some time. Also, the findings pointed out that, if the bus had been travelling at the posted limit at the time, the driver would have been able to stop the bus before colliding with the Via train. Again, these findings would be tough to hear, given that they lead to a number of what if questions.
OC Transpo has posted its special constables in the area to enforce the new speed limit.
Good news for the Renfrew Spur?
A planning committee meeting this week shed some light on what might happen to the Renfrew Spur, in Ottawa's west end. The meeting was focused on a retail development in Kanata along the Renfrew Spur. The committee discussed a proposed 15-metre buffer between the development and the rail line.
The line, formerly the CN Renfrew Subdivision, serves the Nylene Canada industrial polymer plant in Arnprior, just outside Ottawa's western border. The rail line is owned by the city and maintained by Nylene Canada.
I found an interesting line in an Ottawa Sun story, which has me wondering if there may actually be a forward-thinking rail advocate in this region. The sentence in the story, which greatly interested me, reads as follows:
"Nylene is interested in possibly expanding the use of the track since lines connecting to the larger rail network are so rare west of Ottawa."
More like nonexistent, but I digress.
The story is behind a paywall, so I won't link to it, although you can find the story doing a Google search by typing in Nylene and railway. To be honest, I'm not sure what the reporter meant to convey by saying "expanding the use of the track." There is very little in the way of industry along this line, especially west of Kanata.
At the very least, it suggests to me that this rail line appears to safe for now. Now, all I have to do is catch Local 589 out to Arnprior on a Wednesday.
Above: The Renfrew Spur (seen at left in the spring this year) appears to be in good hands.
Finally, I thought I would share another piece of interesting local rail news. A mayoral candidate, Mike Maguire, has proposed something The Beachburg Sub has been advocating since the beginning. Instead of spending billions on a deeply flawed light rail plan, Maguire is proposing something radical. Running commuter trains on existing (and underused) rails in the capital. Do you think Mr. Maguire read last week's post?