Rail funding for Blackfalds

A Blackfalds rail crossing will receive $246,596 worth of work for improvements, the federal government has announced.

A Blackfalds rail crossing will receive $246,596 worth of work for improvements, the federal government has announced.

The crossing on South Street north in the town will see the addition of gates and constant warning time control equipment to improve safety, Canada’s Transport Minister John Baird said.

“Safety at railway crossings is something we can all get behind,” said Baird.

“Communities across the country will be safer because our government is making these safety improvements happen.”

The work is expected to begin as soon as possible shortly following design approval.

The announcement is part of $3.8 million in funding announced to upgrade 35 high-priority rail grade crossings in communities across Canada.

Upgrading rail grade crossings is an important action to enhance public safety and save lives, the announcement said.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides $28 million over the next five years to further enhance safety at grade crossings. The $3.8 million announced today will upgrade 35 grade crossings in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Baird said there are approximately 55,000 public, private and pedestrian highway-railway crossings in Canada.

There are still too many fatalities and injuries as a result of highway-railway crossing collisions.

In 2008, 47 people were killed and 20 others seriously injured while trespassing on railway property.

Ottawa works closely with railway companies and communities to identify grade crossings that require safety improvements, the announcement said.

Transport Canada provides funding for improvement projects at numerous sites every year.

Improvements may include installing flashing lights and gates, linking crossing signals to nearby traffic lights, or adding new circuits or timing devices.

Transport Canada 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.

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