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Harder: no fix in sight for rail crossing woes

At least one city councillor says she can't see the end of the line when it comes to malfunctioning railway signals in the Barrhaven area.

VIA Rail officials say non-operating crossing signals on Greenbank Road in Barrhaven are part of scheduled work being done on the signalling system in the area.

The passenger train service says normal precautions are in place. The trains stop at the crossing, a conductor with a red flag steps down to check and once the crossing is clear, he waves the train ahead at slow speed.

The order was put in place Tuesday, but not made public.

VIA is still trying to solve problems at other crossings in the area - at least a dozen have been reported over the past three months.

The councillor representing Barrhaven doesn't believe those problems will be fixed any time soon.

"I don't think it's fixable right now," said Jan Harder. "I don't think so and I think it's going to be quite a while. VIA said it was going to take four weeks, I think. John Baird said I want it done by Friday. John Baird's not going to be able to deliver."

She said someone must be held accountable.

"It's time that somebody's political feet were held to the fire to get this thing done, but I think even wishing and hoping is not going to be the answer to fixing this situation," she said. "I think it may require a total revamping of the signals."

Via spend $16-million in 2012 to revamp those signals.

Via has stationed personnel 24/7 at Strandherd, Fallowfield and Jockvale to monitor the signals and immediately deal with any malfunctions, but Harder says that's not a long term solution.

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