Canada's new government invests more than $4.1 million in grade crossing improvements in Ontario during rail safety week



    TORONTO, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - In celebration of Rail Safety Week, the
Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, on behalf of the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, today announced that Canada's New Government will provide more
than $4.1 million for 32 safety improvement projects at railway crossings in
Ontario.
    "I am pleased that Canada's New Government is contributing to these
important improvements," said Minister Baird. "Warning devices and better
positioning of the tracks will help further reduce fatalities and injuries at
these Ontario crossings."
    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.

    This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
    persons with visual disabilities.


    

                                 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

                                 BACKGROUNDER
                                 ------------
                                 ------------


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

                                                                  FEDERAL
                                                             CONTRIBUTION
    PROVINCE      LOCATION      ROAD         IMPROVEMENT           (up to)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Belleville    Geddes St    Pedestrian maze     $  8,080
                                             barrier
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Belleville    Moria St     Pedestrian maze     $  2,440
                                             barrier
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Brockville    Eric         Gates and constant  $193,360
                                Hutcheson    warning time device
                                Rd
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Cambridge     Cherry       Flashing lights,    $ 98,200
                                Blossom Rd   bells and gates
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Cambridge     Fountain Rd  Gates               $102,800
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Cambridge     Fountain St  Gates, constant     $217,440
                                             warning time device
                                             and interconnection
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Chapple       Huziak Rd    Levelling and       $ 34,904.60
                                             widening approaches
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Cobourg       George St    Gates and constant  $219,520
                                             warning time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Gravenhurst   David St     Cul-de-sac          $ 49,183.20
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Heron Bay     Highway 627  Gates and constant  $280,240
                                             warning time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       London        Brady Drive  Flood Lights        $ 11,200
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       London        Burwell St   Turning basins      $  3,520
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       London        Manning      Flood Lights        $ 11,200
                                Drive
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       London        Richmond St  Pedestrian gates    $102,520
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Milton        Market       Luminaries          $  8,960
                                Drive
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Niagara       Miller Rd    Gates, additional   $210,560
                                             lights and constant
                                             warning time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Oliver        Vilbert Rd   Flashing lights,    $263,120
                  Paipoogne                  bells and gates
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Quinte West   Stoney       Right-hand turn     $139,260
                                Point Rd     and merge lane
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Renfrew       Gillian Rd   Gates, extra signal $ 84,080
                                             masts, LED lights
                                             and interconnection
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Renfrew       O'Brien Rd   Gates, extra signal $ 84,080
                                             masts, LED lights
                                             and interconnection
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Renfrew       O'Brien Rd/  Reconstruct         $367,136
                                Gillian Rd   intersection
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Spencerville  Frederick    Road approach       $133,520
                                St           grade and widening
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Spencerville  Frederick    Flashing lights,    $235,360
                                St           bells, gates and
                                             constant warning
                                             time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Springwater   Grenfel Rd   Gates and constant  $238,000
                                             warning time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Sudbury       Second Rd    Flashing lights,    $207,200
                                             bells, gates and
                                             constant warning
                                             time device
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Sudbury       Second Rd    Grade lift of       $ 92,400
                                             approaches
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Thames        Crampton     Flashing lights     $168,960
                  Centre        Drive        and bells
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Thames        Cromarty     Flashing lights     $167,520
                  Centre        Drive        and bells
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Thames        Dorchester   Flashing lights     $146,320
                  Centre        Rd           and bells
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Thames        Harriets-    Flashing lights     $146,320
                  Centre        ville Drive  and bells
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Thunder Bay   Arthur St    Signals,            $ 86,083.20
                                             cantilevers and
                                             LED lights
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario       Tydeninaga    Mowbray Rd   Turning basins      $ 41,894
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                                      $4,155,381
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                  April 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Paula Fairfax, Acting Regional Director, Communications, Transport
Canada, Toronto, (416) 952-0154; 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.


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