Canada's new government invests more than $1.9 million in grade crossing improvements in Quebec during rail safety week



    QUEBEC, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - In celebration of Rail Safety Week, the
Honourable Michael Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services,
on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that Canada's New Government
will provide more than $1.9 million for 44 safety improvement projects at
railway crossings in Quebec.
    "This commitment by Canada's New Government shows that we are serious
about improving safety at railway crossings," said Minister Fortier. "Every
year, people are seriously injured or worse in accidents at crossings in
Quebec and across Canada. These improvements should help to decrease such
incidents and possibly save lives."
    Under Transport Canada's Grade Crossing Improvement Program, eligible
railway crossings are either upgraded, relocated or closed. Improvements may
include installing flashing lights and gates, adding gates or extra lights to
existing systems, linking crossing signals to nearby traffic lights, modifying
operating circuits, or adding new circuits or timing devices. The department
finances up to 80 per cent of the total cost of the improvements, with the
balance provided by the railways, municipalities or provinces and territories.
    "Although accident rates and crossing fatalities have reached their
lowest levels in 10 years, improving safety at crossings is a priority for
Canada's New Government," said Minister Cannon. "This funding will allow us to
continue to work with rail companies and communities to improve the safety of
rail crossings for motorists and pedestrians throughout Canada."
    Transport Canada supports other initiatives to improve safety at railway
crossings, such as Operation Lifesaver, a public education program of the
Railway Association of Canada that has promoted safety at railway crossings
since 1981.
    A backgrounder on railway crossing facts and a list of the crossings
scheduled for improvements are attached.


    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                       RAILWAY CROSSING FACTS AND TIPS
                       -------------------------------

    - There are approximately 55,000 public, private and pedestrian
      highway/railway crossings in Canada.
    - In 2006, 28 people were seriously injured in 248 highway/railway
      crossing collisions.
    - Approximately 50 per cent of vehicle/train collisions occur at
      crossings with active warning devices (gates, lights, bells).
    - Trains cannot stop quickly. An average freight train travelling at
      100 km/h requires about 1.1 kilometres to stop. A passenger train
      travelling at 120 km/h requires about 1.6 kilometres to stop. That's
      14 football fields!
    - Look for the crossbuck symbol of a highway/railway crossing. Some
      more-travelled highway/railway crossings have lights and bells or
      gates.
    - Listen for warning bells and whistles. Turn off, or turn down,
      distracting fans, heaters and radios until the crossing is safely
      cleared. Opening the window helps you to hear better.
    - Never drive around lowered gates - it's illegal and deadly. If you
      suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on
      or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
    - Never race a train to the crossing - even in a tie, you lose.
    - Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a
      highway/railway crossing if you are sure you can completely clear the
      crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider
      than the tracks on both sides.
    - If your vehicle stalls on the tracks at a crossing, immediately get
      everyone out and far away from the tracks. Move in the direction that
      the train is approaching from to avoid being hit by debris, because
      the momentum of the train will sweep your vehicle forward.
    - At a multiple-track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out
      for a second train on the other tracks, approaching in either
      direction.
    - Railway tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property.
      Walking or playing on them is illegal - trespassers are subject to
      arrest and fines. Too often the penalty is death.
    - In 2006, at least 59 people were killed while trespassing on railway
      property.
    - Do not walk, run, cycle or operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on
      railway tracks or rights-of-way or through tunnels.
    - Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or railway crossings.
      Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
    - Do not attempt to hop aboard railway equipment at any time. A slip of
      the foot can cost you a limb, or your life.

                                                                  April 2007


                     GRADE CROSSING IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM
                     -----------------------------------
                 FUNDING RECIPIENTS IN THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC
                 --------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  FEDERAL
                                                             CONTRIBUTION
    PROVINCE      LOCATION      ROAD         IMPROVEMENT           (up to)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Chibougamau   Route 113    LED lights and      $ 46,080
                                             pre-emption
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Chibougamau   Route 167    Pre-emption         $ 19,760
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Coaticook     Rue Thornton LED lights          $  2,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Compton       Chemin       LED lights          $  2,000
                                Perras
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Compton       Chemin       LED lights          $  2,000
                                Station
                                Compton
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Contrecoeur   Chemin       LED lights          $  5,360
                                Saint-Antoine
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Contrecoeur   Chemin       LED lights          $ 11,840
                                Saint-Roch
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Dixville      Chemin       LED lights          $  2,000
                                Cowhard
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Dixville      Rue Lessard  LED lights          $  2,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Drummondville Rue Lindsay  Constant warning    $ 45,280
                                             time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Lac-Mégantic  Route 161    LED lights          $  5,473.60
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Lefebvre      12e Rang     LED lights          $  2,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Lefebvre      Chemin       LED lights          $  2,500
                                Beaudoin
                                Nord
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Lefebvre      Rue Playard  LED lights          $  3,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Les Cèdres    Chemin       Constant warning    $200,240
                                Saint-       time device
                                Féréol
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Magog         Chemin de    Mast, signal and    $ 19,276
                                la Rivière   LED lights
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Melbourne     Route 143    LED lights          $  2,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Montreal      Rue O'Brien  Traffic lights,     $ 78,200
                                             flashing lights,
                                             bells and gates
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Notre-Dame-   Chemin du    LED lights          $  5,360
                  du-Portage    Lac
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Portneuf      Route 138    Pre-emption and     $ 48,640
                                             LED lights
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Québec        Boul         LED lights          $ 11,840
                                Père-Lelièvre
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Rivière-à-    Chemin       Pre-emption         $ 35,040
                  Pierre        Saint-Raymond
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Rosemère      Chemin de    Advance             $156,500
                                la           pre-emption
                                Grande-Côte
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Rosemère      Chemin de    Traffic lights      $ 47,117
                                la
                                Grande-Côte
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Sainte-       Route 227    Mast, cantilever,   $ 96,080
                  Madeleine                  gates and lights
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Sherbrooke    Chemin       LED lights          $  2,000
                                Nichol
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Sherbrooke    Rue Mills    Lights and mast     $ 23,096
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-        Chemin du    LED lights          $  7,360
                  Boniface      rang 7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-Casimir Route 363    Pre-emption         $ 49,440
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-        Autoroute    LED lights          $ 11,040
                  Hyacinthe     20
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-Jean-   Rue          Gates               $145,120
                  sur-Richelieu Carillon
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-Liboire 7e Rang      LED lights          $  2,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-Liboire Rue Saint-   LED lights          $  3,500
                                Patrice
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-Norbert Route 347    Pre-emption         $ 38,640
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-Octave  Chemin       Cantilever and      $148,337.60
                  de Métis      Kempt        gates
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-Pacôme  Route 230    Pre-emption         $ 47,280
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-        Montée       Flashing lights,    $242,240
                  Philippe      Monette      bells, gates and
                                             cantilever
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Saint-        Route 217    Gates, flashing     $275,760
                  Philippe                   lights, cantilever
                                             and constant
                                             warning time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Terrasse-     3e Avenue    Pedestrian gates    $ 78,960
                  Vaudreuil
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Terrasse-     3e Avenue    Pedestrian gate     $ 36,480
                  Vaudreuil                  and LED lights
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Upton         20e Rang     LED lights          $  2,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Verchères     Calixa-      LED lights          $  5,360
                                Lavallée
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        Verchères     Montée       LED lights          $  5,360
                                Lapierre
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec        West Brome    Chemin       LED lights          $  5,473.60
                                West Brome
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                                      $1,982,033.80
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                  April 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (514)
633-2741; François-Nicolas Asselin, Communications, Dorval, Transport
Canada(613) 991-0700; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to
news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on
the latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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