Trapped by a 'pain in the butt' train? Here's how to complain:

Many Londoners love to complain about trains, but they're not complaining about them to Transport Canada, which hasn't had a single report of a stopped train in the last six months.

Federal regulations say trains can't be stopped on tracks blocking crossings for longer than five minutes

Adelaide Street is often paralyzed as massive freight trains rumble in and out of the nearby Canadian Pacific railyards, paralyzing one of the city's major arteries, often several times a day. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

It's the first thought that crosses Dayna Curtis' mind when asked to describe the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks at Adelaide Street near Central Avenue.

"This is the worst railway crossing in London," she said. "It will stop dead, like the engine will stop dead right in the middle of the intersection and then do whatever, hookup, backup, it's just annoying." 

And it's not just people like Curtis who drive.

Louise Blakey has her own way to describe the crossing. 

"It's a pain in the butt," she said. "Lots of times it makes me miss buses." 

A few choice words

'This is the worst crossing in London,' city resident Dayna Curtis says of the level crossing on Adelaide Street near Central Avenue. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

It seems anyone you ask has a few choice words about being trapped by a train, forced to wait as it rumbles past them. 

And while we love to tell war stories of just how bad it was, it seems we only tell those stories to each other. 

The country's railroad regulator, Transport Canada, says it hasn't had a single report of a stopped train on CP tracks in the last six months. 

This is despite Tuesday's incident that saw a train straddle Adelaide for close to an hour and saw Londoners vent their frustrations on social media. 

'It's a lot easier to tweet it out'

Megan Shore is the coordinator of social justice studies at King's University College in London. (Kings University College)

So why is that? 

"I think because it's a lot easier to tweet it out," said Megan Shore, a professor who studies social justice and activism at King's University College. 

"The more this happens, the more upset people are going to get," said Shore, noting that most people probably don't know there's an official channel where people can launch their complaints. 

"Now it's time to do something about it," she said. "But that takes effort. That's the difference." 

Despite all the complaints Londoners made on social media during Tuesday's hour-long traffic jam at the tracks, Transport Canada says it didn't get any complaints from London. 

Feds launch investigation

While plenty of people reported waiting for up to an hour on social media, a spokesperson for the rail company would only say the train on Tuesday stopped at 6:45 a.m. because of a mechanical problem and refused to say for how long.

Federal regulations state that stopped trains can't block crossings for more than five minutes, and that they have to move immediately if emergency vehicles need to pass. 

Transport Canada said it will now be investigating Tuesday's incident after receiving a call from CBC News. 

"The department will not hesitate to take appropriate action should any incidents of non-compliance with the Grade Crossing Regulations be identified," spokesperson Annie Joanette wrote in an email. 


Contact Transport Canada's Ontario regional office at 416-973-9820 for any "questions or concerns about rail safety in Ontario."