Railway crossing not needed

A CN Railway crossing in Falher on Main Street could be removed if Town of Falher council has its way. Currently, the Town pays a monthly maintenance cost of $296 to CN Rail for the railway that is at a dead end and sees as unnecessary.

Town of Falher incurring needless maintenance expense

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Town of Falher council wants CN Rail to remove a railway crossing on Main Street or the Town may have to continue to pay almost $300 a month for maintenance.

At its meeting Jan. 11, council approved a motion to continue to pay a monthly cost of $296 for the railway that really doesn’t go anywhere.

Mayor Donna Buchin- ski advises the Town to continue to challenge the bill in 2021.

In August, council passed a motion to stop payments to CN after Dec. 31, 2020, CAO James Bell says.

“At the time of the original decision, we thought it would be a simple request co-ordi- nated through CN and the Town of Falher,” Bell says.

However, the matter is more complex, he says, and council plans to continue to pay until the situation is resolved.

Falher pays a monthly maintenance fee to CN Rail for the automated signaling device on Main Street, a 50-50 cost shared on maintenance with CN.

To have the crossing removed requires continued work and communication with CN, Transportation Canada, and the Canadian Transportation Agency, Bell says.

Council wished to seek information on having the railway crossing removed for several reasons:

  • The railway track west of Falher has been completely removed;
  • Previously, the line was used frequently as it connected to Grande Prairie;
  • Railway crossings on roads west and east of the crossing on Main Street don’t have automated signaling devices.

“In our opinion, this demonstrates that the device is probably not necessary,” Bell says.

If the device is not needed, he says, council wanted clarity on the need for the expense.

“We reached out to CN in August of 2020 and did not hear back from them until late December 2020,” Bell says.

The amount invoiced to the Town for maintenance is controlled and evaluated by the federal government.

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