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Further Investigation Needed For Ingersoll Train Whistles

Ingersoll Council will continue looking for ways to reduce train whistles without compromising safety.

INGERSOLL - Distraught residents walked out of the Ingersoll Council Chambers during a meeting surrounding train whistling.

Ingersoll Council is now faced with the daunting task of whether or not to make all railway crossings that lie within the town boundary's whistle free zones.  In 1992, a bylaw was passed that saw 3 crossings become noise free zones.  

2005 was the last time a meeting was held to combat the whistles, and according to Town Engineer for Ingersoll, Sandra Lawson, only 5 people were in attendance. Lawson says she's glad the latest meeting saw a nearly packed house.  "I'm glad that the number of people came out because that's basically what the meeting was all about - to get the comments and the frustrations of the people - of the town - and for council to hear what residents would like to see."  

The 3 crossings deemed whistle free zones cost Ingersoll over $1 500 year in liability.  While some members of the town were pleased, resident of Ingersoll Lewis Skinner wasn't satisfied with the result.  "I was a little bit disappointed the way the meeting went because there was no one from CN to address the CN loud issues that we have with their horns.  Most of the concerns that I have are the duration of the horn blasts. I have no problem with them giving horn blasts at the intersection to warn people 'cause they can't stop on a dime so they rely on safety features to warn people."   

Retired employee from CP Rail Jeff Willsie was in attendance and stated the whistle is to be blown for 20 seconds prior to entering the crossing unless a municipal bylaw has been passed to notify the public of the oncoming train. 

Town Engineer, Sandra Lawson, stated a consultant will be sent out to the 15 crossings in the city to oversee what the cost will be because that is one the biggest factors of this project. Lawson wants residents to know she is taking their wishes into consideration. "I'm here to listen to them, and find out what their concerns are.  For me it is just a matter of cost right now - whether we can do it or not that's fine I don't have any problem with that.  I just want to make sure that crossings are safe for all the travelling public in Ingersoll and that it is not a detrimental cost to the town."   

Ingersoll will be reaching out to the neighbouring community of Dorchester who has successfully made every crossing whistle free in the village.  

Mayor of Ingersoll, Ted Comiskey, was in attendance and wishes to resolve this issue quickly after receiving calls at his home from disgruntled residents.  

After further investigation council will re-examine this issue in the coming weeks.

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