Montrealer demands better repairs after CP train car slams into house

More than two months after a train car slammed into his home, a Montreal man is still looking for help from Canadian Pacific Railway.

Gabriel Serbanescu says repairs carried out by CP are not up to par

Montreal homeowner Gabriel Serbanescu says he's not happy with the way a contractor hired by CP repaired the damage to his house. (CBC)

More than two months after a train car slammed into his home, a Montreal man is still looking for help from Canadian Pacific Railway.

In October, a runaway container car jumped the tracks and punched a hole through the exterior brick wall of his home, into his garage.

The hole was about a meter and a half across, and it left cracks along the brick.

Serbanescu says CP contacted him immediately after the Oct. 29 derailment, and guaranteed it would take care of repairing his house.

Gabriel Serbanescu said that despite the repairs, he is still worried about his home.

"The damage is apparent. It's still apparent," Serbanescu told CBC News.

A contractor hired by CP replaced the brick on the outside wall. But Serbanescu has concerns about the work.

Parts of the old brick work remain at the top of the exterior wall, and the silicone joint between the old and the new brick is visible.

Serbanescu said he's worried that the crash, and the obvious repair work, will hurt the value of the home where he's lived for the last 21 years.

"Do you think anyone's going to buy my house?," he said. "Everyone knows that a train car hit my house."

Serbanescu said he's written to CP but so far he's disappointed with how it has handled his case.

Independent inspection

CBC News asked an independent home inspector to have a look at Serbanescu's home and the repairs.

Overall, Robert Milon said the work appears to be well done, but had a few concerns: the window sills might be a bit too level to drain water accumulations, the gap between the old and the new brick has to be maintained and there's a space between the brick and the flashing.

"There shouldn't be open spaces where wind-driven snow or rain could penetrate into the building structure,' said Milton, a home inspector with Precision Chimney.

Company 'regrets the damage'

CP responded via email to CBC, saying it "regrets the damage caused to the resident's home and [has] worked closely with the resident throughout the process."

It also said that all repairs, which have been completed, "were approved by the City of Montreal inspectors."

It's still unknown what caused the cars to derail. 

CP police are investigating. They believe someone may have been tampering with the hand brakes on the parked rail cars.


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