Markham stops mandatory train whistling at level crossings

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For a long time now, Markham residents living along the GO train line have complained loudly about the loud whistling of GO trains. Now that may be a thing of the past. Markham has taken steps to silence GO train horns at 13 level crossings in the city.

In an announcement Mayor Frank Scarpitti said: “Markham is now one of the first municipalities in the GTA to silence the GO train horns in our community.

The stopping of the horns in our community is a bold and extensive undertaking. And by improving the anti-whistling infrastructure and by investing in this significant project, we in the city of Markham have taken pro-active steps before many of the other GTA municipalities.”

By making upgrades to the level crossings, under a $6-million anti-whistling program, the city is effectively stopping the mandatory blowing of 1,600 horns in Markham a day.

Each level crossing now has either pedestrian warning gates or what are called maze barriers, as well as what are called tactile walking plates, signage and bells.

The pedestrian warning systems let pedestrians, motorists and cyclists know when trains are approaching. The level crossings are located from Steeles Avenue to Major Mackenzie Drive East.

Under the Canadian Rail Operating Rules, trains are expected to whistle when approaching any public road crossing. To eliminate mandatory train whistling, Markham said it is following a Metrolinx procedure for what is known as “Train Whistling at Public Grade Crossings” in order to meet Federal Railway Safety Act and Regulation requirements.

However, for those who are concerned about safety issues, trains will still whistle in emergency situations. However, going forward a train whistling in those parts could only mean something bad happened or would have happened. -CINEWS

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