(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)                                Police walk along a CP train stopped by Port Haney Station after a pedestrian was struck.

(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS) Police walk along a CP train stopped by Port Haney Station after a pedestrian was struck.

Train horn cessation not a factor in death of woman

Maple Ridge council passed motion in September, but horns still blowing

Train horns are still blowing in Maple Ridge, and the decision by Maple Ridge council to end them could not have been a factor in the death of a woman on the tracks last Wednesday.

In September, council passed a resolution asking that horns or whistles no longer be sounded as trains traverse the city. It followed a process of improving some crossings and other work to keep pedestrian traffic away from the railway right-of-way.

However, there is still fencing needed near Port Haney Station, and the train horns will continue until the work is completed

Two months after the resolution, a woman in her 20s was hit and killed by a train near Port Haney Station last Wednesday. Police are releasing few details about the incident.

The city continues to work with CP Rail and Transport Canada on the completion of Step 7 of Transport Canada’s eight-step whistle cessation process, explained city property and risk manager Darrell Denton.

The city is also working to with CP Rail to complete the installation of fencing at the Port Haney West Coast Express station, and to complete necessary licensing agreements to allow the fence on CP property.

“While completion of the train whistle initiative, by the end of 2018, remains the city’s target, this may get pushed into early January depending on final completion/approval of the fencing works,” said Denton.

Until this work is completed, train whistles at the city’s crossing are still permitted.

Mayor Mike Morden said the death is a tragedy and warned the public to stay away from railway tracks. It is not lawful to walk along the tracks.

He does not see a need to have council revisit the decision to stop the train whistles. Not enough details about the latest incident are known.

“It’s very tragic that it happened, and we’ve got to respect the police process,” he said.

“Stay off the tracks, and engage with trains smartly,” added Morden.

The coroner’s service will investigate, determining the cause of death, contributing factors, and potentially making recommendations, said spokesman Andy Watson.