No Cornwall train whistles a six-figure fix

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – If the city wants to do away with train whistles inside the city limits, taxpayers may be on the hook for at least a quarter million dollars.

City councillors will decide Monday night whether to go ahead with the first step – an engineering study to do away with trains blowing their horns at level crossings.

That report would cost $20,000 to $30,000.

But the bigger cost would be in safety upgrades – fencing, signs and other capital expenses – which are estimated at $300,000.

The city hasn’t budgeted anything this year for the study or the upgrades, states a report from the city’s infrastructure and municipal works department.

This issue came up after the city received two petitions last fall – one for and one against train whistling within the city.

“The safety of drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc. is of paramount importance; however…no train whistling could be accommodated,” writes John St. Marseille, Cornwall’s infrastructure manager.

Transport Canada and CN Rail would have the final say on safety features but the city would be picking up the entire tab and it “could range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Monday night’s meeting (April 25) at city hall starts at 7 p.m.