Cramahe's railway corridor (which is part of the Windsor - Ottawa - Quebec main corridor) is a conundrum.

Cramahe Township

  • is 10.3 km wide
  • has 20 level crossings (10 CN level crossings with two tracks, 10 CP crossings with one track)
  • many crossings in close proximity to each other (eg Peters Rd to Blyth Park Rd only 370 meters; Victoria St to Ontario St only 630 meters)

The reason that the number of crossings is an issue, is due to the large number of trains travelling along this corridor and the train horns being sounded in close succession as the trains pass through the level crossings. The noise goes up exponentially if two or three tracks have trains rolling through at the same time.

The horns which sound 24/7 negatively impact the residents living in the vicinity. Residents have been calling on Council to pursue whistle cessation, particularly from the Colborne Creek Subdivision and Blyth Park Rd, for ten years already.

Train traffic has greatly increased over the past ten years, as has train horn technology - MUCH LOUDER! This is only going to get worse, as VIA Rail plans to increase runs on its own rail line, which means that freight traffic will likely increase on the freed up CN lines.

Freight trains can be over 4 km long, or 4,000+ meters, and are taller due to stacking of shipping containers. Such long trains can block several crossings at the same time in Cramahe. If there is a derailment, uncoupling of trains, or breakdown, up to five level crossings in Cramahe could potentially be blocked for long periods of time.

To highlight the extreme number of crossings in Cramahe, and the short distance between crossings, consider the neighbouring areas of Cobourg,Alnwick/Haldimand and Brighton. Alnwick/Haldimand is 14 km wide and only has three level crossings. The Town of Cobourg only has 4 level crossings, all of which have whistle cessation (no train horns at the crossings). Brighton has implemented whistle cessation at its level crossing in town.

You can view the distances between the crossings in Cramahe and Alnwick/Haldimand by clicking on the link below.

Cramahe and Alnwick-Haldimand Distances Between Level Crossings Charts

Cramahe has ten (10) CN level crossings, nine (9) of which have active warning systems - flashing lights, bells and gates.  One CN level crossing, Bellamy Road, only has a stop sign and crossbucks. A 2014 Transport Canada study listed Bellamy as number 36 out of the 500 most dangerous crossings in Canada. The two CN tracks are considered Class 5 tracks. This means that high speed VIA trains are allowed to operate along these tracks and can travel up to 140 km/hr.  Freight trains can travel up to 129 km/hr.

Cramahe has ten (10) CP level crossings. The single track CP line carries freight trains only. None of the CP crossings have gates, eight (8) crossings have flashing lights & bells, and two (2) crossings have a stop sign and crossbucks only.

CCA has asked Cramahe Council to undertake a safety and infrastructure assessment of the CN railway corridor, with an expert from CN, to look for ways to reduce the number of level crossings, upgrade warning systems and crossing surfaces, improve sightlines, and begin to pursue whistle cessation for the well-being of its residents & taxpayers.

The Trudeau Government announced on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 that it will spend $55,000,000 on railway safety & infrastructure through funding to municipalities and townships that apply for it, beginning in 2017. 

The CCA is urging Cramahe Council & Staff to begin preparing the applications now.