Lorne Street residents are fed up with trains idling in their downtown neighbourhood.
Peter Bartel has lived in the area for more than a decade and, this past spring, he submitted a petition to city hall signed by more than 50 residents requesting the city meet with CP Rail to find a solution to the residents’ problem.
The CP Rail Yard is located across the street from multiple apartment buildings. Bartel said trains idle “sometimes hours, sometimes days,” causing excessive noise, pollution and posing a safety risk, due to unknown materials being transported by rail.
“You can’t sit on your deck when the engines sit out in front of you,” Bartel said. “You can’t breathe the air.”
Bartel has a proposed solution — adding a heating system to trains to keep engines warm and prevent the need for idling. However, he said he can’t get traction from CP Rail and it remains unclear why. He wants the city to push the issue.
“Use common sense,” Bartel said. “But you can’t get through.”
Coun. Arjun Singh called it a “challenging situation” because the railway predates housing, noting if CP is operating within its regulatory requirements, there is no guarantee the railway will take action. Singh said he has facilitated communication between CP Rail and Lorne Street residents, adding CP Rail had said it would arrange a meeting with the residents.
CP has not yet returned a call to KTW.