West Toronto Diamond project
Pile Driver Noise Control
Pile Driver Shutter Control
….a possible model to help from past experience in the community… Every few years the close knit relationship between the railways and the residents in the Junction gets worked on, now is one of those times. The last major time was the introduction of the Canadian Pacific railroad’s Iron Highway Rail Project in 95 and 96 (near where a Rona hardware store now stands).
This was a noisy project with lots of action, with crews driving trucks onto trains, at all hours and with new, untested equipment. At the same time the CPR was parking trains near Vine Avenue parkette and doing a lot of humping of train cars – something the crews are not supposed to do.
The community was mad and felt the CPR did not listen to them.
In the current situation the community closest (Hook Ave. and area, but the issue will spread as the construction moves along the route) to the current installation of interlocking steel pipe piling system being used in the West Toronto Diamond project is feeling unheard and disrespected by the CN, the CPR, GO Transit and their contractors, which is right, as they may be. Yet the community needs to really organize fast and with a detailed action plan, as the Junction community did in 95 and 96, during the Iron highway project.
In this case the community had the local federal MP at time; John Nunziata attended meetings with the CPR and add strong to support the community efforts. The CPR for it’s part took the reasonably well organized working group serious and brought in it’s Vice president of government affairs to Toronto (from Montreal) for the meetings. The CPR also had to attend to an assortment of engineers and the mangers who locally managed the yard.
With a considerable number of meetings – at least once a month, which took place at the CPR building, in the West Toronto Yard, a lot of goals were met.
1) no parking signs for trains were installed along the railway track in certain areas – one can be viewed on the other side if fence at the back of Vine Parkette. This greatly reduced house shaking and the constant vibration.
2) the Iron highway project was managed in a manner that relieved much of the stress on the community.
3) Humping [1. Many large railroad yards are equipped with humps, small artificial hills, that function to take advantage of gravity. A train is pushed, car by car, over this hump and each car is uncoupled. When the car(s) roll down the hill, they are automatically routed to one of many tracks at the bottom of the hill, where they are assembled into new trains. ] of trains was stopped and along with it the jarring house shaking.
4) The CPR donated $5,000.00 to the Historical Society
5) the installation of smart start train idling technology was sped up, so train noise could be reduced
What was learned from the last experience may well prove to be helpful in this one. A quick outline of a plan now, that was used in the past could include.
a) request that the local federal MP attend meetings set up with the railroad bodies charged with the project.
b) request to the CPR, CN and GO transit that an immediate meeting is required, so the community can formally present it’s issues and research on the problem.
c) review the current law – a good source is the The Railway Association of Canada regulations site
d) push to have all parties schedule a regular set of meetings, it will cause action in the interim between meetings
…yet in the contractors defense, the community needs to be preemptive in areas such as these, one example would be to contact the excavation contractor who will remove the soil between the pilings now to start a dialogue of mutual help. (There are reports this will be a different contractor then the one on site now.