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21 June 2017
Queen Street crossing
needs to be closed


Weyburn Saskatchewan - The City of Weyburn has a difficult decision to make in regard to one of its eight rail crossings, after yet another close call occurred at the Queen Street crossing near Highway 39 on 12 Jun 2017.
 
In a report commissioned by the previous council and provided to the new council back on 28 Nov 2016, the recommendation was to close the Queen Street crossing, with only minor upgrades needed to the other seven crossings in the city.
 
And, according to CP Rail, they have asked the City of Weyburn to close it, as they are concerned with the safety of the public at the crossing.
 
There have been a number of accidents at that crossing, which has been rated as the 65th worst crossing in Canada out of the 21,115 crossings across Canada that are rated for risk by Transport Canada.
 
The crossing has two main problems, neither of which can be readily fixed.
 
One is a very short distance between the track and Highway 39, the second is the curve in the tracks immediately to the northwest of the crossing.
 
As police chief Marlo Pritchard said, usually the police are dealing with a B-train truck caught being unable to clear the short distance onto Highway 39, as happened last fall.
 
This time, a car crossed the tracks, but as the vehicle in front wasn't able to turn onto the highway in time, the car hadn't quite cleared the tracks, and a freight train clipped the back end of the car.
 
The driver was not hurt, but as a train was involved, the driver can only count herself fortunate that she was not killed in this collision.
 
There is a bit of a dilemma in closing the crossing, as it would reroute truck traffic to the intersection of Highways 39 and 13, which Coun. Dick Michel characterized as one of the worst intersections in the province because of the angle of the corners.
 
The question really comes down to this, while these latest collisions have not been fatal, does someone have to be killed by a train before closure of the crossing will be considered?
 
It should not have to come to that point for the City to act, unless they are willing to put out a large amount of money for crossing arms to be installed.
 
The City could try to restrict trucks from crossing there, but this would be difficult to enforce, not to mention this latest collision involved a car.
 
The major safety problems of this crossing cannot be changed, so the remaining solution is to close the crossing altogether, so that the motoring public can be kept safe.
 
Greg Nikkel.

Quoted under the provisions in Section 29
of the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act.
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