The bars were down, the bells were ringing and the lights were flashing, but there was no train in sight for over an hour at the Ross Avenue rail crossing Friday morning.
Getting stuck waiting on a train in rush hour is annoying enough, but drivers were getting frustrated and bored after an hour-and-a-half went by with no train.
“You get used to having to wait a little bit, but when 20 minutes turns into an hour-and-a-half it’s beyond reasonable and no train,” Neil Martinowski said.
He was a few cars back in line by about 8:30 a.m. after arriving at the rail crossing around 7 a.m.
“You can see the traffic going on either side crossing a block away and it’s frustrating because you can’t get around it.”
Martinowski’s bad morning didn’t end there. He was thankful to get a boost from someone else in line because when his battery died after he turned off the engine for 20 minutes while waiting for the train that never came.
Canadian Pacific Railway was alerted to the situation and dispatched a signal technician to fix the problem after about an hour.
By that time people like Martinowski and other drivers in line described getting frustrated and anxious to make it to work.
A few people in line reported moving up because several vehicles ahead of them simply made a U-turn over the median to drive back the other way. Most drivers who talked to 980 CJME at the scene and by phone said that wasn’t an option for them because they were driving small cars or semi trucks.
In an emailed response to 980 CJME, CP Rail communications officials said the problem was caused by a broken bond wire, which connects the signal system to the track.
The email also said that signals at railway crossing are designed to activate when there is any kind of issue with the track circuitry or wiring required for activation.
CP Rail said they regret the inconvenience.