What Happened At Dangerous Level Crossing? You Decide


An OC Transpo double-decker bus slams on its brakes at the same level crossing where six people were killed when the same model of bus came into collision with a Via Rail train almost four years ago.

The incident Wednesday morning is described as heavy-braking … heavy enough to throw passengers around the bus.

At the time of the heavy braking, a Via Rail train was at the level crossing north of Barrhaven.

OC Transpo can’t provide an explanation for the heavy-braking though it says the passengers on the bus were never in danger.

But let’s put the facts together that we know. The bus slams on its brakes at a dangerous level crossing where six people were killed in similar circumstances. A train was crossing the tracks. The bus stopped quickly enough that it threw people around inside the vehicle.

OC Transpo doesn’t have an explanation but put those facts together and you come to a conclusion.

Here’s what we do know for certain. Almost four years have passed since the fatal collision at Fallowfield and precious little has been done to make that busy level-crossing safer.

While the city has overpaid and under-performed on light rail to the tune of $3.2 billion, a dangerous situation has been allowed to fester north of Barrhaven at the level crossing. Has the city strapped itself fiscally to such an extent on LRT that it can’t afford to build an overpass where it is obviously needed?

The city is conducting a study. Now that four years have passed since the tragic bus-train accident, isn’t it time the city told us exactly what it will be doing about our safety and our tax dollars at the Fallowfield crossing.

How many more people will have to die before the City of Ottawa takes prompt action?



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6 thoughts on “What Happened At Dangerous Level Crossing? You Decide

  1. Two leaders seem to be missing or out of action. The mayor and councillor for the area. Perhaps that is why nothing has come from the tragic deaths four years ago?

  2. “A Via Rail train was crossing the tracks north of Barrhaven” – I hope the train was ON the tracks and not crossing them.
    How many close calls have there been at this location before and since the accident? I’m very glad my route downtown doesn’t involve going through this level crossing. I wonder how many of the passengers involved in this incident are now making alternate plans to get to work?
    It’s just a lucky break for OC Transpo that nobody was injured in this incident – will that luck continue to hold?

    1. Voter, don’t worry about the good residents of Barrhaven who rely on OC Transpo to get to and from work. They will only remain at risk until some time after 2031, based on the existing transportation plans, when the LRT may make its way all the way out to the northern edge of Barrhaven. Of course by then, the southern edge of Councillor Harder’s feifdom may have reached Kemptville.

      Consider the following when you wonder about the level of respect that Barrhaven garners down on Laurier Avenue. That southern community has more people living in it than Peterborough, a municipality that qualifies as a major city, for the purposes of mayors attending meetings with federal officials.

      1. Very good point, Ron – maybe she should start to talk secession with the earlier arrival of a train as her bargaining point. Considering that, under the Chiarelli plan, Barrhaven would have had the train already operating by now, their two councillors should have been pushing much harder to get the extension built there at the same time as Kanata and Orleans.

  3. While it might be ideal to install an overpass (or tunnel) so the buses and trains at Fallowfield can be separated, in the meantime maybe OC Transpo could have its vehicles stop at level crossings. This is the practice for many other Ontario transit authorities (who have not had the record of fatalities we have suffered). Moreover, having the buses stop can be done without securing additional budget support.

  4. This is a unresolved situation for which their is no excuse.
    Something…should have be implemented by this time…heck, the discussion has not even been on the agenda of the many committees it is relevant to.
    To heck with the committees, to heck with short council meetings, take care of our city and the residents in all areas of it.

    Anne Marie


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