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Update – information is available here about the victim and the circumstances. A real tragedy.

Cottage Country Now (The North Star) has a post about a man killed in a train accident north of town near Britt November 9th. The post can be found at this link.

Apparently two men were trying to move an ATV off the tracks when a train came around the corner and one of them was unable to get off the track in time. It seems to me the railway has no responsibility for the accident in this case.

There are few details about the accident but I can imagine what happened. The ATV attempted to cross the tracks carefully, probably at 90 degrees to the track, and the wheelbase of the ATV was such that it just fit inside or outside of the rails. It probably got itself jammed between the rails. Getting it off would not be easy. And focused on getting the ATV off the tracks, with the engine running, the men would not have heard or felt the approach of the train. We’ll probably never get the full information. These types of accident reports are not released to the public without the approval of a person involved in the accident, or their family.

Both men and both families will be permanently scarred by this accident, and there is the train crew’s pain to consider. It’s a no-win situation.

As a community we are deeply impacted by train traffic; the noise, the pollution, the inconvenience, but we need to never forget the inherent danger of being on the tracks with a train approaching. And you can never tell when there will be a train. Freight does not run on a regular schedule.

I offer my thanks to the Parry Sound Town Council for recently approving the funds to support installation of safety arms at the Cascade Street crossing. That solves part of the safety issue. There is still much work to be done.