In that respect it's something of an oddity, as its one of the slower Montréal / Toronto trains that goes via Ottawa. Passengers originating in Montréal can leave 25 minutes later on train #53 and arrive about an hour earlier at stations between Kingston and Toronto.Train 51 is the 6:20am departure out of Montreal Central arriving in Fallowfield (Ottawa) at 8:48am, departing Fallowfield (Ottawa) at 8:52am arriving Toronto Union Station at 12:49pm
I understand the purpose of that train is mostly for travel between Montreal and Ottawa, and Ottawa and Toronto, and not Montreal to Toronto.In that respect it's something of an oddity, as its one of the slower Montréal / Toronto trains that goes via Ottawa. Passengers originating in Montréal can leave 25 minutes later on train #53 and arrive about an hour earlier at stations between Kingston and Toronto.Train 51 is the 6:20am departure out of Montreal Central arriving in Fallowfield (Ottawa) at 8:48am, departing Fallowfield (Ottawa) at 8:52am arriving Toronto Union Station at 12:49pm
Driver had medical event prior to crash?Note the eyewitness accounts in the following video report. Barriers down, bus driver made no apparent attempt to brake.
OTTAWA — The Barrhaven rail crossing where an OC Transpo double-decker bus and a Via passenger train collided Wednesday morning, killing at least six people, has been on the radar as a “severe public safety issue” for more than a decade.
In the early 2000s the city had a plan to build an underpass for Woodroffe Avenue and the then-yet-to-be-built Transitway next to it, to separate traffic from the trains.
In 2002, Ottawa’s then-mayor Bob Chiarelli described the intersection of tracks and road as “a very, very severe public safety issue.”
At the time, there weren’t even signals at the crossing, which was built when south Nepean was lightly populated. The city wanted to widen Woodroffe, add the Transitway next to it, and put them both in an underpass to keep them away from the tracks.
The $40-million project, whose cost was to be split among the city, provincial and federal governments, was put on hold in 2003 when it turned out that an unusual kind of rock in the area let water flow too freely into the construction trench.
The problem could be solved, city officials said at the time, but it would have cost more money; city council would have had to vote to spend it in 2004 and the other governments would have had to be asked to kick in, too.
When a new estimate for the cost of two underpasses (including one at a nearby crossing of Fallowfield Road) came in at $111 million, the city abandoned the idea in favour of adding signals to the crossings.
CN Rail, which owned the track, had previously rejected that as inadequate — the idea had been examined by more than one “environmental study report,” processes that found problems with all the alternatives, including overpasses....
In the end, though, everyone agreed that spending $10 million on signals at the two crossings was the best solution. The city report said that the “exorbitant” cost of the underpasses was a factor, along with the fact that the then-new Via station at Fallowfield had led to trains crossing Woodroffe at much lower speeds. Minutes from a 2004 meeting have Coun. Jan Harder, who still represents the area, praising the creativity of the city’s staff in convincing CN that a wider Woodroffe, with an adjacent Transitway extension, would be OK with a crossing and signal....
According to David Jeanes, president of the advocacy group Transport Action Canada, the Via train involved in Wednesday’s crash was allowed to travel at speeds as high as 160 km/h, although it is highly unlikely that the train was moving that fast.
For one thing, said Jeanes, the train would have been preparing to stop at the Fallowfield station, which is located just west of the crash scene, and should have been slowing down.
In addition, if it had been travelling at high speeds, the train would have been thrown much farther after the collision than it was.
After it was decided that an underpass for vehicular traffic was not feasible, Transport Canada gave approval for “full quadrant gates,” which Jeanes described as large barriers that block all lanes of traffic — both on Woodroffe Avenue and on the adjacent Transitway — that would not allow cars or buses to sneak around the barriers.
It remains unclear why Wednesday’s crash occurred, but eyewitness reports suggest the OC Transpo bus did not stop before colliding with the train....