VIA Rail to brief Ottawa City Council on Friday, April 25 regarding Barrhaven-area Railway Crossing Signals

MONTRÉAL, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Recent issues with VIA Rail's Automatic Warning Devices (AWDs) at six Barrhaven-area rail crossings have caused the systems to go into fail-safe mode with higher frequency and for longer periods of time than usual. This has led to public concerns about the reliability of VIA Rail's automatic warning device systems.

While the team at VIA Rail swiftly put in place after each occurrence additional measures to identify the possible causes, undertake the necessary work and minimize inconveniences to the travelling public, questions still remain about the safe operations of these complex systems. VIA Rail has retained experts at RailTerm and engineers from Hatch Mott MacDonald and Siemens to conduct a comprehensive review of its infrastructure and signaling system and further investigate the root causes of these occurrences. These experts are scheduled to report back by April 30 with their findings and recommendations, if any.

On Friday, April 25, VIA Rail and its infrastructure contractor, RailTerm, will brief Ottawa City Council on issues related to the Barrhaven-area rail crossings, including any actions undertaken to date such as:

  • The implementation of preliminary recommendations of consulting experts.
  • The deployment of VIA Rail Personnel at railway crossings to provide supplementary support and maintenance to AWDs, and to ensure that motorists and pedestrians stop at each crossing.
  • The operation of trains at reduced speed at six Barrhaven crossings.
  • An investigation by Ottawa City Police into possible tampering.
  • The establishment of a dedicated web page for specific and additional information


Representing VIA Rail at the Council meeting will be Steve Del Bosco, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer and Marc Beaulieu, Chief of Transport and Regional General Manager, Eastern Canada. Aaron Branston, Eng., P.Eng., Vice-President, Engineering and Maintenance, will represent RailTerm.

To access the most current information related to the Barrhaven-area rail crossings, Ottawa residents can go to, or follow VIA Rail on Twitter @VIA_rail or on Facebook.

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide safe, efficient and economical travel, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500 km network. Recipient of the Railway Association of Canada's Safety Award in 2012 for the 11th time in 12 years, and of Baxter Travel Media's 2013 Agent's Choice Award (voted on by Canadian travel agents), VIA Rail safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested more than a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Follow the progress of our transformation at

Follow us on our Evolution Blog at, on Twitter @VIA_rail and on Facebook.

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information: Jacques C. Gagnon, Senior Manager, Media and Community Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6604 | 1 877 393-8787, |