Thorn­hillers op­pose new train sched­ule

Horns keep res­i­dents up from dawn un­til al­most mid­night: new group fights back

Thornhill Post - - News - by Adam Stein­berg

A newly ex­tended GO train sched­ule in south­ern York Region has res­i­dents and Thorn­hill MPP Gila Mar­tow call­ing for Metrolinx and the On­tario Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion to “Stop the Horns.”

The bat­tle boils down to a fed­er­ally man­dated, rail­way op­er­a­tions rule that re­quires con­duc­tors to blow the train’s whis­tle when­ever it passes a cross­ing, ac­cord­ing to Shanta Sun­dara­son, founder of Stop the Horns, a local res­i­dents group. She es­ti­mates that horns are be­ing blasted 1216 times at each cross­ing.

Sun­dara­son said the con­flict be­tween res­i­dents, Metrolinx and the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment be­gan on June 26, when the new sched­ule was im­ple­mented and the first GO train ar­rived at 5:30 a.m.

“We were be­gin­ning to ad­just and live with a cer­tain number of ad­di­tional trains that had been brought on dur­ing the day, but then

when they sud­denly brought on an 11:15 p.m. train, that’s when

ev­ery­body’s lives went hay­wire,” Sun­dara­son ex­plained. Thorn­hill MPP Gila Mar­tow

has been work­ing with Stop the

Horns. “There’s nowhere you can live

in the rid­ing of Thorn­hill as far as I’m con­cerned and be out­side when it’s quiet at night and not hear ei­ther the clang­ing or horns,” she said.

In an emailed re­sponse to ques­tions, se­nior Metrolinx rep­re­sen­ta­tive Anne Marie Aikins said the agency has been in reg­u­lar con­tact with con­cerned res­i­dents but stressed, “It is important to move for­ward with new tran­sit op­tions for Markham res­i­dents, in­clud­ing new evening train ser­vice.”

The City of Toronto was ex­empted from hav­ing con­duc­tors blast­ing their horns through neigh­bour­hoods through a process of safety en­hance­ments at cross­ings. Markham is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a sim­i­lar ex­emp­tion process with Trans­porta­tion Canada, Aikins ex­plained.

Mar­tow is not op­pos­ing the in­creased fre­quency of GO trains, but rather the rush in which it was im­ple­mented.

“No­body is against hav­ing more trains,” said Mar­tow. “[But] why the heck would you put on the ex­tra trains, espe­cially at 5:30 in the morn­ing and 11:30 at night, if you haven’t up­graded all these cross­ings?”

In her statement, Aikins said that her team was work­ing “to en­sure that the whis­tle ces­sa­tion process reaches a prompt and suc­cess­ful conclusion.”

“When they sud­denly brought on an 11:15 p.m. train, that’s when ev­ery­body’s lives went hay­wire.”

Thorn­hill MPP Gila Mar­tow

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.