St-Henri railway crossing among most dangerous in Canada

The triple track at de Courcelle and St-Jacques streets in St-Henri has made the list of the top 25 rail crossings, where there are more accidents than anywhere else in Canada, according to a CBC analysis.

Les Coteaux, Que., also reported 3 deaths tied to railway crossing since 2002, CBC analysis shows

A train derailment in St-Henri led to a spill of diesel fuel in 2014. (CBC)

One of Canada's most dangerous railway crossings is located in Montreal's Southwest borough.

The triple track at the intersection of de Courcelle and St-Jacques streets in St-Henri has made the list of the top 25 rail crossings, where there are more accidents than anywhere else in the country, according to a CBC analysis.

Since 2000, there has been a total of six accidents — including one fatality and three injuries.

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a VIA rail passenger train in 2008.

About 53 trains use the tracks every day, including VIA rail passenger trains at speeds of 65 km/h.

The incidents, while not all serious, include crashes between trains and cars, bicycles and pedestrians.​

St-Henri is not the only Quebec municipality to make the top-25 list. There have been three deaths due to accidents at the rail crossing in Les Coteaux, west of Montreal, since 2002.

'We need to know about these things'

Craig Sauvé, the city councillor representing Saint-Henri–Little-Burgundy–Point-Saint-Charles, says this is the first time he's heard the crossing in his own borough is one of Canada's worst.

St-Henri residents have already called for better rail safety measures. (Google)

"We need to know what's going on," Sauvé said. "So CN, CP have to be forthright with the municipalities and they have to be accountable to the municipalities."

Sauvé wants rail companies to be more transparent about safety issues, saying it's time for them to sit down with local authorities and work together.

"We can do analyses, we've got expertise on the ground, we know citizens, we have community groups," Sauvé said.

"We can help but we need to know about these things."

Rail deaths in Les Coteaux

In Les Coteaux, a municipality located west of Montreal in the Montérégie, there have been three fatalities since 2002 at the busy CN crossing on Sauvé Street. 

The railway has been the location of six accidents since 2002 despite flashing lights, bells and an automated gate.

About 50 trains pass each day.

The railway in Les Coteaux is among the top 25 most accident prone in the country. (Google)

With files from Jaela Bernstien


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