Rough tracks an ‘accident waiting’ to happen says local farmer

A car passes over the rough tracks outside of Thamesville
(Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative)

By Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative

A petition to upgrade two of Thamesville’s busy railway crossings has been launched.

Local farmer Nicole Vanrabaeys, who regularly drives farm equipment over the tracks where Victoria Road becomes Baseline Road, says the potholes in the tracks are “just terrible.

“We’ve lost parts off our tractor,” Vanrabaeys says, adding people lose wheels and hubcaps at the rough crossing on a regular basis.

“Things like that happen all the time,” she says.

Her family has helped people who have damaged their vehicles on the tracks.

Vanrabaeys, whose works in her family’s farm business, located on the north side of Thamesville and is a reporter for The Herald , started the petition with her brother Jarod.

She says visibility is not an issue — it’s the fact that people are slowing down to a near stop that’s causing problems.

“It seems just like an accident waiting to happen,” she adds.

The other crossing residents say is in poor condition is on Longwoods Road near Tim Hortons.

The Longwoods Road crossing is owned by CN, while the Baseline Road crossing is owned by the CPR.

East Kent Councillor Steve Pinsonneault gets a lot of complaints from constituents about the poor conditions at the crossings.

He says Chatham-Kent does its bit and will go out and put asphalt in the holes in the roadway periodically, but the tracks are not municipal property and there are liability issues to Chatham-Kent trying to fix the problem.

Pinsonneault says the crossings need to be dug out and fixed properly.

He adds it can be a “very long drawn out process” to get the railway companies to respond to the issue.

Two years a similar petition was launched to fix the railway crossing on Victoria Street near Railway Street.

It was successful and the crossing was upgraded by CN Rail within a matter of months.

Vanrabaeys is hoping the same pressure will get the same results on Baseline Road.

The online petition can be found on Facebook under Fix Thamesville’s Railway Crossings.

For those without Internet, petitions can be signed in person at Ron’s Gas Bar and Thamesville Home Hardware.

• The Thamesville Herald


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here