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Canadian Pacific locomotives in Alyth Yard - Date/Photographer unknown.

5 February 2013

Mayor Wants Meeting with New CPR Boss Over Rail Yard Noise

Calgary Alberta - The city's mayor says he's on board for a meeting with the new head of Canadian Pacific Rail, hoping to get a stalled Inglewood noise study back on track.
 
CP had agreed to pay for half of the $150,000 study, but announced it was pulling out to compile its own data. The move comes following a ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency in favour of the Inglewood Community Association's rail yard noise and vibration complaint last fall.
 
CP said it is following orders by compiling its own data, which it submitted to the agency Tuesday.
 
Now, Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the time has come to build a relationship with CP's newly installed CEO Hunter Harrison.
 
Nenshi is hoping for a meeting this month.
 
"It would be helpful for the city to spend some time with the new leadership at CP on this," Nenshi told reporters following a priorities and finance committee meeting Tuesday.
 
"It's very important to their business, but it's also very important to the future of that community."
 
The timing is good to talk about how to proceed with the noise study, Nenshi said.
 
"We thought it was prudent to see what their response is and what data they've already gathered."
 
Canadian Pacific said it plans to share its noise data, which was collected by a third party.
 
"This is an ongoing process, and once CP has met the obligations of the CTA and they have provided their ruling, we will then be able to determine next steps," said CPR spokesman Kevin Hrysak.
 
"We appreciate the city wanting to meet with CP prior to making a decision. CP has been working collaboratively with the city and the community surrounding our Alyth yard, and our objective remains to continue to work collaboratively with the city and local residents."
 
With plans to build a southeast transit way in the vicinity of Alyth yard, which stretches south from Blackfoot Trail to 42nd Avenue S.E., the city and CP have much to talk about.
 
Alyth yard is said to be among the biggest locomotive repair facilities of its kind, and has been operated by CPR for more than 100 years.
 
Inglewood residents say the noise, vibration, and air pollution from the yard are too much since the railway consolidated locomotive servicing work at Alyth and doubled the size of the operation.
 
Residents of Inglewood and Ramsay are asking the railway to stop operations at Alyth yard during "reasonable hours" on weekday evenings and weekends.
 
Ward 9 Ald. Gian-Carlo Carra has said beleaguered residents in Inglewood beside the noisy and busy rail yard are keen to see the study progress. Work on the study began in December 2011.
 
The first phase of community consultation and case study, and legislation review, is complete. It cost $70,000. The next phase is noise and environmental data collection, followed by a risk study.
 
That leaves the city on the hook for the remaining $80,000.
 
Recently, CP announced it would cut 4,500 jobs, and saw major management and board shakeups that may affect the long-term operation at Alyth yard.
 
Still, CP has said it expects to do "long-standing business" in the Calgary district.
 
Sherri Zickefoose.


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