Petition urges Lacombe to quiet train whistles

The constant din of trains roaring through Lacombe, blasting their whistles has become “unbearable,” a local resident told council on Monday.

The constant din of trains roaring through Lacombe, blasting their whistles has become “unbearable,” a local resident told council on Monday.

Blake Enns said the number of trains passing through the community has drastically increased in recent years and a CP Rail employee told him, “You haven’t seen anything yet.

“My whole house shakes,” said Enns, who has lived on the northeast side of Lacombe on Pickwick Lane.

Besides increasing train traffic on the Edmonton-to-Calgary link, trains are now moving faster through the community since improvements were made to a crossing and the rail corridor along Hwy 2A a few years ago.

Enns presented an informal petition of 20 names calling on a stop to the whistles and a reduction in train speed.

Stew Shields, who lives near the tracks on Hathaway Lane, shares Enns’s frustration with the racket.

“If it were a drilling rig on the outside of the city it would be shut down immediately,” he said. “It’s noise pollution.”

While council members were sympathetic, Enns was told convincing rail companies to stop using a safety measure, such as whistles, can be a very tough sell.

Both Ponoka and Blackfalds have also tried to quiet whistles with no success.

Mayor Steve Christie said CP Rail — if it was willing to consider a whistle ban — would require the city to pay for a safety assessment, take out liability insurance and foot the cost of other upgrades, such as additional fencing.

Christie, who sits on the boards of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, said rail safety is a big issue, especially since the rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic in Quebec, where a train derailed in the middle of the community, killing almost 50 people.

But the discussion has been around how better to protect communities, not eliminating whistles.

Not all residents want to see the warning blasts gone, said Coun. Wayne Rempel. On one local social media site 60 to 70 residents were opposed to silencing the whistles.

Council also looked at the issue previously and a committee recommended not pursuing it.

On Monday, council voted to ask administration to see what the requirements and the costs would be to negotiate with CP Rail for a whistle-free zone. Public input would also be needed before council decided to take the issue any further, council agreed.

Just Posted

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

EDMONTON — Two federal cabinet ministers are making appearances in Alberta today… Continue reading

San Francisco moves closer to nation’s 1st e-cigarette ban

San Francisco supervisors moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first… Continue reading

Who said what about the Liberals’ decision to go ahead with Trans Mountain

OTTAWA — There was swift reaction Tuesday to the decision by the… Continue reading

Take two: Alberta lauds federal re-approval of Trans Mountain pipeline project

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is lauding the federal government’s decision… Continue reading

WATCH: New RDC president has three decades of experience working at colleges and universities

Peter Nunoda says he’s ‘excited’ to help transition the college into a university

Follow the money: Salary cap could spawn NHL trade frenzy

Matt Niskanen wasn’t totally shocked when the Washington Capitals traded him to… Continue reading

Rugby Canada chooses 43-man long list for Pacific Nations Cup tournament

Captain Tyler Ardron, who plays in New Zealand for Super Rugby’s Chiefs,… Continue reading

Paul Simon, Alice Quinn honoured by Poetry Society of America

NEW YORK — Paul Simon doesn’t care much for requests, but he… Continue reading

NFB says Indigenous Action Plan is on track, meets 2020 production targets

MONTREAL — The National Film Board of Canada says it has reached… Continue reading

Take two: Alberta lauds federal re-approval of Trans Mountain pipeline project

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is lauding the federal government’s decision… Continue reading

Business leaders welcome pipeline approval but fear it may not be completed

CALGARY — Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion pleased business… Continue reading

Alberta limits debate on bill to strip some public sector bargaining rights

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government is limiting debate on a contentious… Continue reading

Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

OTTAWA — Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says more must be done… Continue reading

Most Read