Train Track Safety – Be Aware, it Only Takes a Second

The LaSalle Police Service, LaSalle Fire Service, and the Essex Terminal Railway are partnering in this very important message regarding safety along our railways.

The ETR tracks run through LaSalle from Highway 18 to Malden Road. The tracks and the property adjacent to the tracks are private property, owned by the ETR and posted as no trespassing. Using the tracks as throughways for pedestrian, ATV, or snowmobile traffic or ignoring crossing signals while driving your automobile is not only illegal but dangerous. Trains cannot stop even when it is apparent that a collision may be imminent. Vehicles traveling along the ETR tracks disturb the aggregate under and around the wooden ties that hold the tracks in place which could result in a derailment or disaster.

On May 18, 2022, Senior Constable Bonnie Racine, Firefighter Chad Thibert, and Sgt. Mike Agostinis worked with members of the ETR to bring their message forward. This included photos as well as an invitation to travel in a newly retrofitted locomotive. From here we were able to see the world through the eyes of an engineer and hear their perspective.

“Within minutes of moving along the tracks, I felt uneasy with what I was seeing in front of the engine. Cars and Semi-trucks still crossing and even stopped on the tracks despite the crossing signals clearly activated and the train whistle being blown by Ken our engineer. I turned to another engineer and told him I already felt uneasy with what I was seeing ahead and he simply said, “every day this job is stressful”. We chatted until we reached our destination and the stories of near misses left me wondering how many stories they just didn’t want to talk about. These folks go to work like everyone else in the morning and like everyone else just wants to do their jobs and return happy and healthy to their friends and families at the end of the day. It opened my eyes and it turned the locomotive from just being a machine to something more human.” – Sgt. Agostinis.

Please stay off the ETR property and help us avoid a tragedy.

A special thanks to the Essex Terminal Railway and all their employees for giving us a peek into their world and for keeping our goods moving into and around our country.

Here is a link from CBC News of three young people almost being struck by a train in Milton Ontario: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/go-train-nearly-hitting-three-young-people-milton-1.6470572

Author, Sgt. Mike Agostinis