No trains but new lights, arms at Oceanside crossings

Railway crossings have a dearth of trains, but no shortage of gear

The trains are not currently running on Vancouver Island, but as one reader pointed out to us last week, there has been work along the railway.

The reader (who didn’t want to be identified) questioned the cost and decision to add new crossing traffic signals and arms on quiet Lowrys Road.

She said the stops signs seemed to work well before the installation last April and people don’t stop anymore, assuming the lights will warn them.

Frank J. Butzelaar, president of Southern Railway of Vancouver Island explained that they maintain the railway on behalf of the Island Corridor Foundation, but it was the Ministry of Transportation that installed a new traffic signal and arms on the Lowrys Road crossing.

Butzelaar said that since the railway was there before the road, the Ministry of Transportation is responsible for the crossings. He said there can be a long lead time between decisions and actually installing a crossing arm, and he believes the decisions were made before the VIA Rail passenger trains stopped running.

He added that while there are not currently trains running along that stretch of railway, they are still technically open and should be treated as active.