Petitioners want train whistles stopped near Tollgate Road

Petitioners want train whistles stopped near Tollgate Road
A CN train is seen in this file photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Nearly 100 people have signed a petition asking that city council throw its weight behind a request to have trains stop blaring their whistles near Tollgate Road.

City council is expected to vote Monday night to send the petition to administrators for further study.

The residents cite a similar move made in Ottawa where that city had trains stop train whistles at the Greenbank Road crossing.

“At present an ever-increasing amount of trains are honking their whistles at all hours of the day and night,” reads the petition.

City councils in the past have examined the issue of train whistles in Cornwall.

“We’d sure like to be able to sleep with our windows open in the summer,” said Bob Keenan, one of the 91 people who signed the petition. “It gets pretty loud at three or four in the morning.”

But some on the other side of the track are suggesting homeowners who purchased property adjacent to the rails should have known there would be some late-night noise.

Keenan is having none of it.

“I don’t particularly agree with that,” he said. “If someone was riding around on a motorcycle at three in the morning I’m sure something would be done about that.”

Tara Bray, who lives on Branch Drive and whose property backs onto the tracks, said in an interview stopping the whistles presents a double-edged argument.

I can see the need for the horns but that is also why there are guard bars and flashing lights (at crossings),” she said. “Besides, by the time you hear the train when you are in your vehicle it is too late anyways.

Honestly during the day it does not bother me in the least and with the hum of the air conditioner right now it isn’t too bad at night. There are some trains however who really like to lay on the horn and it can be very bothersome, especially to those with small children.

The petition is asking that both CN Rail and VIA Rail trains cease the practice at the Tollgate Road crossing.

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