Sounding off

Last week a Lacombe citizen presented a petition to request the City look into the steps towards achieving train whistle cessation.

Last week a City of Lacombe citizen entered Council Chambers and presented a petition to request the City look into the steps towards achieving train whistle cessation within the City limits.

The resident stated not only is the amount of train traffic increasing through the City, so is the impact of the train whistle. He stated the sound of the whistle as the train passes through the City occurs often enough that it often interferes with sleep patterns.

The sounding of train whistles is a federally mandated practice through Transport Canada. Municipalities have the ability to seek whistle cessation, which generally takes from three to five years to achieve.

Once all the permissions are received through Transport Canada and the railway line, like CP Rail, the project can finally move forward, with the municipality starting detailed safety assessments of each rail crossing, to determine what safety improvements will be necessary at each location. The City would also be required to carry liability insurance for the railway crossings.

After much debate, council determined they would look at the costs of whistle cessation and see exactly what the process entails. They also noted that input from citizens would have to be collected before they would make any decision, either to begin the process or leave things as they are.

After hearing about the petition to cease train whistles, another local citizen has created a petition to keep the train whistles sounding throughout the City. This citizen, like many who want the whistle to stay, stated the whistle is a needed safety measure and it keeps those in the community safe.

Others have also commented they live quite close to the tracks and the sound of the train, along with the whistle, does not bother them in the slightest. Perhaps it has become an accustomed sound to some that eases many to sleep at night.

While both of these opinions are valid, most of the citizens aware of the issue sit rather divided.

Others may sit on the middle of the tracks so to speak — agreeing that yes, the train whistles are bothersome at night, especially when you are trying to sleep, but safety should always be and remain paramount.

Many may remember this is not the first time City council has debated train whistle cessation and this will probably not be the last. Many communities along the rail line, like Blackfalds and Ponoka, also deal with the same issue.

Since whistle cessation is a legal process, which is thought to be quite onerous, could take many years, cost the municipality an unknown amount of dollars and man power, it’s left to question – is it really worth it?



Just Posted

WATCH: AFSC unveils new CEO

Steve Blakely comes to AFSC after a 40 year career in the finance sector

Lacombe Generals take commanding lead over Stony Plain with 7-3 win

Generals will look to eliminate the Eagles Wednesday night at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex

CACHS Knights take bronze medal in 1A Provincials

Knights takes out Stirling Lakers 82-69

Generals power through Game 3, winning 7-2

Seven-game series continues Saturday in Stony Plain

WATCH: Women’s Emergency Shelter holds 24th annual fundraising dinner

About 600 women and children used the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter last year

Rebels keep home-ice dream alive with 5-2 over ‘Canes

Red Deer look to steal both games against Kootenay this weekend

Shane McPhee pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Red Deer court Monday

A trial had been scheduled to run through to April 6th

Man charged after child abandoned in cold vehicle in Calmar

33 year old Aaron Blake Wilkinson charged after two-month old found in vehicle

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Federal committee to examine human trafficking in Canada

The Commons committee plans on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Most Read