Back to school brings new hazards. There have been recent reports of trains stopping on the tracks blocking the Lorimer Road crossing of the Valley Trail.
According to an eyewitness, a train stopped on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 24 between 8 and 9 a.m. It blocked the public crossing in Tapleys Farm for around half an hour before moving. It has been suggested that this event had occurred more than once in the past few weeks.
Concern about the stops has been raised as several people were seen trying to move through the stopped cars and one man appeared to climb underneath the train. With school re-opening next week, questions have been raised about safety of children and others commuting to work or school on the Valley Trail.
CN Rail insists the stops were unscheduled and they were unaware of them until told by Pique Newsmagazine. A representative for CN said the supervisor for the area was unaware of the blocked crossing and that the stoppage on Aug, 24 may have been caused by a minor mechanical problem.
"Obviously its not our policy or practice to block crossings even if theyre pedestrian crossings," said Graham Dallas of CN Rail. "I understand that this was in fact a pedestrian crossing and I also heard that there may have been some people who decided to crawl under or over the cars. There have been some people who have done that and unfortunately got themselves very hurt when the train started moving again. So we do everything we can to discourage that kind of activity."
The municipality was also unaware of the stops, but a spokesperson for the Parks Department, which manages the Valley Trail, said they would be following up with CN.
Pedestrians are strongly discouraged from trying to get through a stopped train as cars can move unpredictably and cause serious injury or death.
With school starting on Sept. 6, motorists should also be aware speed limits in school zones will be enforced.