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