|Ottawa Citizen 24 February 1988|
OC Transpo bus almost hit train, says CBE trustee
OC Transpo is investigating a report that one of its buses was almost hit by a train Friday in Nepean.
Marilyn Cameron, a Nepean trustee on the Carleton Board of Education, said her teenage son and two other Confederation High School students were returning home Friday afternoon on a Transpo bus when it screeched to a halt at a train crossing on Fallowfield Road, west of Woodroffe Avenue, near Barrhaven.
The students told her the crossing's barrier then closed and came to rest on the roof, about two metres from the front of the bus. A train passed moments later, she said.
Cameron said two of the students told her the crossing's warning lights were operating as the bus approached.
A Canadian National official said Tuesday that the signals, which were checked shortly after the incident, were working properly.
Ottawa Citizen 23 March 1988
OC Transpo clears driver in near miss
The driver of a bus nearly hit by a train was not negligent, an internal investigation by OC Transpo has found.
However, OC Transpo spokesman Oxana Sawka said that as a result of the incident, a new policy to take effect in early April will require OC Transpo buses to stop at all railway crossings.
OC Transpo's investigation of the Feb. 19 incident found the driver erred on the side of safety, said Sawka.
The bus reached the rail crossing on Fallowfield Road, west of Woodroffe Avenue, just as the warning signals activated, she said. Seconds later, a train went through. The crossing barrier came down on the roof of the bus.
Sawka said the bus driver would have had time to cross the tracks, but decided to stop under the barrier.
A truck driver who was following the bus corroborates the bus driver's version of events, Sawka said. OC Transpo would not release the witness's name.
But a Canadian National Railway spokesman said there should have been a seven- to eight-second delay between the time the warning lights and bells were activated and the time the barrier started to come down.
After the delay, it takes the barrier 10 seconds before it reaches its horizontal position, said Ed Gurinskas, CNR's Ottawa-area maintenance supervisor of signals and communications.
Marilyn Cameron, a Carleton Board of Education trustee, said her 15-year-old son and two other Confederation High School students were on the bus.
Cameron said her son and one of the other students told her the .warning lights were operating as the bus approached the crossing.
Currently, all inter-city and school buses are required by law to stop at all train crossings at all times.