Last week CP Rail replaced several of the evacuation route fences and gates. Many of these gates were in disrepair, falling over, or not closing tightly posing a security risk to potential trespassers.
Thanks to this repair work these locations are now safer and more difficult to trespass. Parents should warn their children to never enter the rail yards or gated rail lines. While pedestrian accidents in this area are extremely rare children must be reminded of the extreme danger and potential injuries or even death that could occur from a mishap in this off-limit zone.
A serious mishap occurred along the Wavell-Baily track in the late 1960s when a youngster breached the fence to cross over.
The evacuation routes and emergency gates are part of Cote Saint-Luc’s Emergency Preparedness Plan. In the event of a disaster emergency personnel could direct residents to leave the vicinity via one of these routes. In the late 1980s and early 2000s heavy flooding forced the closure of the Westminster and Cavendish underpasses, respectively, and emergency personnel used the gates to respond northbound across the tracks. Since then the pump station have been upgraded and no flooding has recurred.
2014 has been designated by Cote Saint-Luc City Council as Emergency Preparedness year with great focus on emergency planning, disaster readiness, training of city staff, educating the public. An emergency notification system for all residents will roll out this summer.
Additional reporting and photos by Lewis Cohen