Ottawa Hotel Review

We are currently being asked to review two hotel options in Ottawa.
The Welcome Inn and the Holiday Inn.

I’m asking for input from the membership regarding these two properties, any and all concerns will be entertained.
Just a couple quick points regarding the two hotels.  At this time there are no major improvements planned for the Welcome Inn, except for renovations currently being carried out on the 3rdfloor,
and I am told other floors may follow.
Those rooms are seeing renovations to the washroom areas that include a new shower enclosure, 

  • The Holiday in does not provide a complimentary breakfast.
  • There is no shuttle service is being offered so it would be back to taxis.
  • There is a restaurant on the property and Via crews would get a 10% discount.
  • Holiday Inn rooms are recently renovated.
  • The Holiday Inn also has a pool and a larger gym area.  
  • The Holiday Inn is also offering a common room for our crews.  

The Holiday Inn  has a very strict 10 pm noise policy.
After 10 pm there is zero tolerance for noise issues.
The hotel employs a two strike policy, first offence will be a warning,
second offence you will be removed from the hotel.  

I have been talking to several crews about the two hotels, please feel free to comment me on Facebook or email me or Rick any concerns you may have regarding the hotel choices in Ottawa.  
I have also established a quick survey, for those wishing to participate indicating their choice please follow the link below.

Please take the Ottawa Hotel survey

Terry Brennan
Legislative Rep
Division 747   

Your Health and Safety Committee
Division 747

Legislative Rep / H&S June Reports

Legislative report for the month of May 2017

Highlights of Health and Safety meeting held May 24th, 2017

May 24th attended Health and Safety meeting at the TMC. These are some of the highlights from the Health and Safety meeting held that day.

-We are trying to take a new approach with regards to operating signs on the west and east end of the Corridor. Each meeting we will present to CN approximately three signs that need attention. The hope is with less signs we will see CN actually start to take action on this issue.

-We have seen some action with regards to debris along the Kingston sub. CN has removed much of the smaller pieces of rail and other junk that had been observed along the track. We will continue to monitor and if overall the situation has resolved we will remove from the minutes.

-during the meeting we discussed numerous issues of trespassing incidents on the Kingston sub and in the West End. Some of these incidents resulted in fatalities. An effort to deter trespassing in London seems to be having some good results but it still seems to be a never ending issue. Some of the methods include fencing, trespassing tickets, prickly bushes and even greasing the fence posts to deter trespassers squeezing though onto the right of way.

-I will be available for consultation before the end of the month for anyone having issues with their Ipad. If you are having problems and would like some help please either see me the day I come in or drop me an email or note in my box. I find most problems can easily be resolved. If you are having password issues please realize most of these issues must be resolved with the help desk.

Next Health and Safety meeting scheduled for June 28th


Highlights of policy workshop held June 1, 2017.

The following are some of the highlights of the policy workshop held June 1, 2017. Acting Local chairman Rick David and legislative Rep Terry Brennan in attendance. Meeting commenced at 9am in Montreal PVM.

-presentation given on a E logbook looking for possible test by September of this year for E logbook project. LE’s will be expected to log defect in airplane mode, then turn on Wifi once arriving at home terminal to transmit defects.

-The seats on P42’s were discussed at this meeting. Again no defect or design issues were observed to explain issues with lateral motion stabilizer adjustment knob loosing effectiveness. The equipment maintenance members feel that issues being encountered are solely from of a lack of maintenance on the mechanism, and that it can be addressed as units are cycled through the shop. Again a reminder to report seats that are defective, specifying precisely what is happening and what you think may be defective otherwise these issues will continue.

-A discussion regarding the use of the baggage winch in northern Ontario was held. A winch has been deployed there, however there was debate as to whether or not it even makes sense to have the winch on the car. Currently no crews are actually using the winch, and many have claimed they won’t be as it is a bit of a pain to even prepare for use. The Employee Chair will clarify and confirm whether this project is even worth continuing before further expansion of its use.

-The topic of hooks for garbage bags on P42’s were discussed. A prototype is installed on the 916 until a permanent bin is installed on P42’s. It was agreed that they most likely location for the garbage bin would be in the nose of the P42 between the LE and ICLE positions. Any other location would present an obstruction, tripping hazard or barrier within the cab.

-Brake integrity issue is now considered closed. With the proper technique for brake tests at maintenance centres being confirmed along with modifications to angle cocks on P42 equipment.

-A discussion was held regarding the reporting of safety defects i.e. rough ride through the use of rough ride report forms. The committee was unsure of how rough ride reports would be transmitted to OCC. Rough ride reports are currently available on the iPad and can be populated with data however there is no mechanism for transmitting data to equipment maintenance personnel. A simple solution was offered by LE Terry Brennan stating that a simple screenshot of the rough ride report once completed could be taken and then emailed to OCC or equipment maintenance personnel until a more Permanent solution is found.

-The issue of cab temperature was discussed with regards to starting up engines 15 to 20 minutes prior to crew taking over. It was agreed the issue would remain active pending summer heat and AC use to verify if this is indeed working.

-discussion on issues with regard to radio is awaiting RAC approval this involves the use of separate radio channels on go transit territory.

-The emailing of bulletins issue will be closed as extra emails are now coming to an end. LE’s agreed that the volume of emails has changed significantly and that for the most part we are no longer receiving unwanted and unnecessary emails and instead are only receiving bulletins pertaining to our operations.

-A discussion was held regarding student logbooks i.e. different versions for different levels of training.

-The topic of third man in the cab was discussed a draft headquarters notice for third man in the cab was released stipulations regarding the list of rules that an LE will have to abide by if he or she goes back was discussed. A copy of HQ 17–14 is available for any interested parties who wish to see it. What this will basically allow is for one LE to drop back to the coaches if all three employees are ok with just the two crew members in the cab. When there is only two members in the cab the trainee will be restricted to only the ICLE duties and will not be permitted to run.

-Witronix GPS issue is still on going and the corporation has received money for possible installation on one unit. No more updates were available.

-discussion was held regarding trainers that are used for midterm refresh courses. Trainers need to have proper training in order to be able to carry out these courses.

-The issue of the use of trainees as regular engineers was discussed. It was agreed that we would carry it over to the next meeting. The employee members were seeking commitment from the company to ensure that only trainees that had a ride check with an MTO on specific territory be allowed to work said run. Acting Local Chairman Rick David also suggested that every opportunity should be made prior to avoid a situation of having two inexperienced employees work together including mixing employees up to avoid this situation.

-The committee wrapped up it’s day with a discussion regarding SMS safety management system. A discussion was held regarding ways of evaluating the effectiveness of corrective action plans. Much of this discussion involves mandated reporting of corrective action plans to Transport Canada.


Highlights of policy meeting held in Montreal PVM June 2, 2017.

The following are some of the highlights of the policy meeting held June 2, 2017 in Montreal PVM. Division 747 Legislative Rep Terry Brennan present.

Cab safety issues.
-toilet leaks completed.
-Baggage restraints on P 42 locomotives completed.
-installation of wheel chocks 50% completed.
-RDC wheel chocks in SWO not yet completed.

-Voice recorders LVR item will be closed as it is beyond committees control as to what government will legislate. This however does not mean that the TCRC will not be tackling the issue as it will still be an issue at the National Legislative level and they will be actively lobbying government on this issue.

-baggage winch installed on RDC’s may not be required Sean Bar will poll his members to see if it is even wanted. Right now it receives little to no use.

-discussion with regard to signage was held this is now a standing issue and discussed on monthly call with CN. No new updates were provided on this file.

-Cab toilet leakage issue will be closed as units are now modified.

-Cab cleanliness was discussed it was agreed that there have been improvements with regards to cab cleanliness including vacuuming of seats and cleaning of cab interiors in general. Will continue to monitor.

-rough ride reports were also discussed. Ensco data is given to CN to correspond to their data to find issues regarding rough track. CN also has a number of units equipped with similar devises running up and down the corridor. NRC national research Council has offered their assistance and expertise in dealing with Via’s rough ride issue.

-Crews carrying heavy bags still an issue at TMC will continue to carry-on minutes.

-A discussion was held with regards to new equipment. The topic of CEM crash energy management was discussed. A question with regards to how much protection the windshield would offer in an event of a collision was asked. Employee members are seeking answers from equipment maintenance as to the effectiveness of windshield design and other issues revolving around CEM crash energy management of new equipment that is being tendered.

-The TIBS issue will be closed as resolution of angle cock issue and fleet renewal has made it a non issue as new equipment will have this ability built in and not require said modifications.

-earmuffs and moulded earplugs still being evaluated and tested and once product is chosen we are hoping to try to implement sometime this year.

-A discussion with regards to the electronic logbook was had. The ability to see all safety critical defects that you would normally see on a lead units book is requested i.e. as per PTI.

-The topic of operational high-risk locations was discussed. It was agreed that all subdivisions should be lumped together as opposed to the current document where subdivisions are separated.

-training was discussed. Mid term refresher course discussed along with various courses that will be taught by trainers. Also the use of E learning was talked about. It was agreed that only new employees would receive e-learning for initial hiring practices. As all employees have to do this when they originally hire on at Via. Beyond that the employee committee members would like to see its use restricted and prefer one on one training as opposed to E learning.

-The committee members requested for future workshops to have equipment maintenance EM present the day before the policy meeting for consultation purposes.

-The fatigue management plan was reviewed and no exceptions were found.

-GPS train control still active with funding to equip one locomotive in the Corridor having been received, other than this no new updates on this file.

-an overview of upcoming operation activities was given. Heavy volume is expected in July on all trains especially the Canadian due to the Canada 150 sale.

-A presentation was given on safety management system SMS. Transport Canada did an audit of Via’s SMS safety management system. For the most part TC had no issues that stood out, and Via was given high marks for its SMS reporting.

Upcoming dates for safety workshop policy meeting and fatigue management in September 2017 on the 18th 19th and 20th where established along with safety workshop and policy meeting dates for December 5 and 6th of 2017.

Terry Brennan
Legislative Rep
Division 747


Legislative Rep. February Report

February 22nd

I attended Health and Safety meeting held at the TMC, MTO Jamie Crawford and Vice local chair Rick David in attendance.  Highlights of meeting include some of the following.  As discussed in the previous months January Health and Safety meeting trees falling onto the right of way continue.  Two more incidents were reported in the month of February on the Chatham sub. Thankfully no injuries or serious damage was reported in either incident.  This is an ongoing issue made worse by freezing rain on one occasion and high winds on another.  I have been reassured that any engineer noticing a tree leaning towards the right of way that is in danger of falling should contact MTO Jamie Crawford who will ensure it gets passed onto the proper authority to be rectified. On this topic Railterm continues to remove trees and brush from the Brockville and Smiths Falls subs.

We continue to follow and track issues regarding signals dropping on trains. In the past there was very little explanation for these dropped signals however now there seems to be a real effort to explain what exactly happens in each individual case.  Following these stats will show if there is any trends developing and allow us to better understand what is occurring and why and potentially prevent future signal drops.

Please remind one another of up coming PSO, Zone, TSO, signal or any other restrictions. Crews are reminded that as the busy work season approaches the number of rule 42’s will likely increase greatly.  With lots radio chatter and people walking over top of one another the potential for miss communication and misunderstanding of instructions will also increase.  Crews are reminded to be 100% certain of instructions and routing and if unsure to verify or stop the train if necessary.

Crews in the London area are reminded to be vigilant of a high trespass area near the East end of London station.  This area is a documented HRA High Risk Area that sees many close calls.  It is also a known area for drug use and has had a large number of used needles in the past. Please use caution when walking in this area and be extra aware when passing through this vicinity.

The committee received correspondence from Zeke Medeiros regarding the addition of a cab cleaning position to the night shift.  The position was created due to the large number of complaints regarding cab cleanliness on departing trains. Prior to this I believe the hostlers were responsible for tidying the cab, removing garbage and providing water for the engine crew. Please feel free to let us know if you see a change in cab conditions as a result of the new position and we can provide Zeke feedback either good or bad.

A couple other quick notes.  It was recently brought to our attention that there are signals at Union station that are partially blocked by building materials that also present restricted clearance issues. In particular track 10 west and 6 east have been noted as problematic. If aware of others please let either myself or Rick know so we can pass them along to Jamie Crawford.
Also Rick has brought it to my attention that crews are arriving at night when welding is taking place. From what I have been told no shielding is in place and the welding is not being stopped when said trains arrive. We have been following up with MTO Crawford but in the interim are advising crews to be cautious when arriving Union if welding is taking place to be protect your eyes and avoiding looking directly at the activity.

Next Health and Safety meeting scheduled for March 29th.

Terry Brennan
Legislative Rep 747