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Town, railway check track access

The Town of Blackfalds and Canadian Pacific Railway are looking into the situation around a section of railway where children cross the tracks near a school.

Jason Spatt, a Blackfalds parent, raised the issue with an email to both parties when he noticed children were crossing the tracks not at the controlled intersection but where it was convenient.

CP spokesman Kevin Hrysak said they appreciated the letter as they are concerned with safety anywhere their trains operate.

“We have been working with the municipality of Blackfalds on a few issues there and this is one of the issues we have been working on,” said Hrysak.

“We’re working towards steps to collaboratively mitigate any potential safety concerns in the future.”

Hrysak said a fence along that area of track is one of the things that is up for discussion.

But he was unable to go into more detail, awaiting further discussions with the municipality.

“But we are in touch with them and it is something that has been addressed before,” said Hrysak.

Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol said they received a letter from Spatt.

“It’s going on to put on to the council agenda for next week for discussion,” said Stol.

Spatt said he noticed the potential for tragedy after driving his daughter to school. He said the train can come through town fairly quickly and runs through several times a day at all hours.

Iron Ridge School has students from kindergarten to Grade 4.

Spatt suggested a chain-link fence running a few blocks along the tracks near the school to deter kids from crossing where it is unsafe.

Hrysak said the issue is a joint responsibility of the municipality and the rail company.

“This type of behaviour is extremely dangerous and illegal to begin with, from a trespassing perspective,” said Hrysak. “There are designated locations in the town of Blackfalds within proximity where pedestrians can safely cross in that area.

“The purpose of those crossings is for public safety.”

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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