Cramahe Community Association is a non-profit volunteer organization committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Cramahe Township and to represent the members of the Association in appearances before Cramahe Township Council
- Monitor financial planning and budget process to ensure that responsible financial decisions are made by Council
- Review infrastructure planning to ensure that present and future needs of the Township are met in a sustainable fashion
- Ensure that detailed safety assessments have been performed at all rail level crossings, and all level crossings meet current standards
- Pursue implementation of whistle cessation at all rail level crossings protected by Flashing Lights, Bells and Gates (FLBG)
February 13, 2017 - CP Freight Collides with School Bus on Townline Road
Luckily no one was killed or injured in this collision between a CP freight train and a School Bus on Townline Road. An investigation will undoubtedly be done to determine the root cause and the contributing factors to this collision. While it would be premature to speculate as to the cause of the collision, it does highlight the need to address the safety of crossings in Cramahe.
Over the past two years, the Cramahe Community Association (CCA) has asked Cramahe Council to undertake a safety and infrastructure assessment of the railway corridor through the Township. The idea was to look for ways to reduce the number of level crossings, upgrade warning systems and crossing surfaces, improve road approaches and sightlines. Ideally detailed safety assessments should be done at ALL grade crossings in conjunction with the rail companies.
A recent email (February 8, 2017) from Craig Brooks (Cramahe CAO) states:
“We are trying to be more responsible with the condition of each and every rail crossing that is within Cramahe Township. The focus of a rail crossing improvement initiative should be moving it forward with the understanding that we will prioritize each and every crossing based on its’ present condition and the amount of traffic each receives on a daily basis. By establishing this plan, we can begin to commit to a plan of maintaining/upgrading these crossings as needed to keep all Cramahe residents safe at every crossing.”
So far the CCA has not seen a detailed plan to do this work.
There are several factors that contribute to the safety of a rail grade crossing. (https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/railsafety/grade-crossings-standards.htm)
- Warning devices - stop sign (passive) being the weakest, flashing lights, bells and gates (active) being the best
- The condition of the grade crossing – it should be smooth and continuous (i.e., there should be no traps for wheels, bikes or feet)
- The condition of the road approaches – surface and geometry is important (horizontal and vertical alignment must be right so that vehicles can stop safely before the crossing and can accelerate in a reasonable fashion to clear the crossing)
- Sightlines - drivers and train operators should be able to see each other at reasonable distances
- Signs – signs are required to provide adequate warning to motorists and pedestrians as they approach a rail crossing
- Horns - trains are required to sound their horns when approaching a crossing (unless whistle cessation has been implemented). It has been our experience that horns do little to prevent collisions as happened in this case.
The road authority and the rail companies share equally in the responsibility for safety at grade crossings.
February 13, 2017 - BCCC - Taxpayers are angry!
Please take the time to read an email sent to Brighton and Cramahe Councils on February 12, 2016, a response by Mayor Marc Coombs and response to Mayor Coombs. A plea to the citizens of Cramahe and Brighton. If you do not want to see your tax dollars wasted, please write to your Councillors.
February 10, 2017 - Interview with Mayor Marc Coombs and Gritt Koehl - Week in Review - Northumberland 89.7 FM Radio
With 20 level railway crossings and no train whistle cessation in place, rail traffic has become a major issue in the Colborne/Cramahe community. Today on Week in Review, Gritt Koehl of the Cramahe Community Association debates Cramahe Mayor Marc Coombs. Click on the link below to listen, or go to Northumberland 89.7 FM Website - Podcasts to hear the interview.
February 10, 2017 - Funding Update to Chambers of Commerce in Northumberland County
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Council Meeting - a delegation from the Brighton-Cramahe Chamber of Commerce will appear before Council to once again seek funding. Please take the time to read the letter and report from the BCCC, which you can find as part of the Council-in-Committee Agenda on Cramahe's website.
Looking at Brighton Municipality Website, under Municipal - Budget, there is a January 17th update to the budget. On page 5 it shows that Brighton did not provide any funding to the BCCC in 2015 and none in 2016 either.
Regarding Chambers of Commerce for Port Hope, Cobourg, Hamilton and Alnwick/Haldimand, I have been provided with the following information.
Northumberland Central Chamber of Commerce:
Cobourg – John Hill, Chairman of Northumberland 89.7 FM Radio states that the radio station is a member of the Chamber and that the Chamber receives NO Funding from Cobourg Council.
Hamilton – John Davison, Vice-Chairman of Citizens Council for Hamilton Township states: “Hamilton Township does not financially support the Chamber of Commerce in Cobourg.
Port Hope – Jim Ronson, President of the Port Hope Ratepayers Association states: “No money is given. In fact our chamber of commerce is very active raising money for community projects such as our recent rink renovation.”
The above statement for Port Hope is not completely accurate. After looking at the 2017 Port Hope Budget (which was approved recently), it appears that the Chamber received a $900 donation in 2016, and asked for $5,000 in 2017. It must be noted that Port Hope has a population over 16,000 and the Budget is over $18,000,000. Cramahe has a population of approx 6,200, and yet the BCCC is asking Cramahe for $21,360 annually for 3 years and is asking Brighton for $29,000 annually for 3 years. Brighton Council is only considering $25,000 annually for 2 years. Sounds like the BCCC is not a sustainable business service organization. Business Service groups are not government service agencies and their operations should not be funded by taxpayers dollars. Monitoring of spending by Councils is truly out of control, if this is what is happening.
Alnwick/Haldimand – I spoke in person with Arryn McNichol, Treasurer for A/H at yesterday’s budget meeting. He stated that A/H Township does not fund the Chamber of Commerce.
It is the understanding of all individuals from the above organizations that Chambers of Commerce are funded by business members, donations and fund-raising activities on the part of Chambers of Commerce. Business people for business people.
The general position is that it is not appropriate for taxpayers dollars to be funding a business membership driven organization such as a Chamber of Commerce.
There are Councillors that serve the taxpayers on Cramahe and Brighton Councils that do not support funding the BCCC. The question needs to be asked of both Councils - Is it appropriate to fund a Business Chamber of Commerce?
You, as taxpayers in Brighton and Cramahe, are urged to email your local councillors, or submit a letter in writing to councillors, expressing your position on this important issue.
Budget Comparisons (Cramahe, Brighton, Alnwick/Haldimand)
The following documents provide analysis and comparison of 2017 budgets from three municipalities - Brighton, Cramahe and Alnwick/Haldimand.
January 21, 2017 Commuter Train Collision with FedEx Truck in Utah - Train Horns Useless!
North Salt Lake police released dashboard camera video showing the moment a Utah Transit Authority (UTA) FrontRunner train crashed into a FedEx truck on January 21, 2017. The police officer driving the cruiser in the video obviously realizes something is wrong and stops short of the crossing. He then starts backing up just before the collision. You will notice that there is a service vehicle parked on the right shoulder just past the level crossing. It has its four way flashers on and a yellow flashing light on its roof. The scary thing is that the active warning system (Flashing Lights, Bells and Gates) did not operate until AFTER the collision had occurred. Once again this video demonstrates that train horns do nothing to prevent collisions at level crossings. Watch the video...
January 20, 2017 Interviews - Week in Review - Northumberland 89.7 FM Radio
TRAIN HORNS!!! Huge Issue for Cramahe Residents, who have been trying for over 10 years to get Council to do something about Whistle Cessation. Click on the link below to listen to Steve Koehl and Drew Ritchie spell out how big the problem is. Feedback on our Facebook page would be greatly appreciated.
January 4, 2017
December 22, 2016 Letter From The Honourable Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport)
Shortly after the new year, a letter arrived from Marc Garneau (Federal Minister of Transport). The letter is a thoughtful response to the CCA letter of September 9, 2016. It outlines the regulatory relationship between the rail companies, the road authority (Township) and Transport Canada. The letter talks about the issues at Bellamy Road and the Barnes Road Bridge.
It goes on to say that Transport Canada did inspections at Hunt Road, Bellamy Road and Peters Road. Issues identified with these crossings were communicated to the rail companies as well as the Township and the issues have since been addressed.
Transport Canada is still studying the issue of train separation (cars coming uncoupled).
The letter states that train whistling is a regulatory requirement intended to keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe when using public grade crossings. It goes on to say that some municipalities may wish to end train whistling "to provide (those) residents with some relief from the noise."
Contents of the letter are posted here Letter From Transport Minister
Budget information and analysis can be found at the Cramahe Council/Budget tab
Correspondence with CN and Transport Canada
Letters and emails regarding the CN rail corridor through Cramahe Township can be found at the Railways/Rail Level Crossings Safety tab
Council Meeting Information
Information on proceedings at Council meetings can be found under the Cramahe Council/Council Meetings tab
Fire Department Service Call Reports
Reports available under Cramahe Council - EMS/Fire tab.
Northumberland 89.7FM Radio - Week in Review
Radio interviews done with John Hill and Jim Glover regarding Cramahe Township issues can be found under the News & Events/Archived Media tab
Railway Level Crossing Safety information is available at following tabs:
Presentation to Council Railways/Railway Level Crossing Safety
Level Crossing Photos Railways/Railway Level Crossing Safety/Crossing Photo Gallery
Information about roads infrastructure can be found at the Infrastructure/Roads Tab.
Train Whistle Cessation
Information regarding train whistle cessation can be found under the Railways/Train Whistle Cessation tab