A GO train makes its way through a crossing at high speed.

Metrolinx is exploring innovative ways to reduce deaths on our tracks

In support of Rail Safety Week 2019, Metrolinx is spreading the word about preventing injuries and deaths on the tracks. This includes the implementation of technology that could deter people from going on the tracks in the first place.

The start was grim, and the toll alarming.

On the very day that Rail Safety Week 2019 began last Monday (Sept. 23) across Canada, a person tragically lost their life when they were struck by a GO train on the busy Kitchener Line. Specific details are still being investigated, but the death highlights the urgency and need to prevent injuries and death on the tracks.

In 2019 so far, there have been more than 15 fatalities on Metrolinx owned tracks involving GO trains.

In an effort to reduce these kinds of tragic incidents, Metrolinx is exploring new and innovative ways to separate people from speeding trains.

One of the ways Metrolinx is working to prevent incidents is through the installation of specialized rubber panels at high risk locations that make it much more difficult to get to the tracks.

Crews work on installing mats next to the tracks
Crews work on installing mats next to the tracks

The Anti-trespass Panel (ATPs) are made out of hard rubber in a cone shape pattern making it difficult to walk over, therefore aiming to decrease the amount of times people come into contact with trains within Metrolinx’s corridors.

“Metrolinx takes the safety of our communities and customers seriously,” said Alan Britton, Metrolinx corridor maintenance director.

The panels are distributed from the UK and have been implemented there since 2004.

By implementing the ATPs the overall goal is to minimize delays, increase the safety for the public and to have an overall better handle on the securement of Metrolinx’s owned corridors.

workers carry an anti-trespass mat from a truck to the train tracks.
The mats are being installed as part of an initiative to improve the overall safety and security of the GO network

Metrolinx is currently working with Pacific Northern Rail on the implementation of the test locations.

As part of Rail Safety Week, Metrolinx has once again joined with Operation Lifesaver and rail partners across North America to raise awareness about how to reduce preventable incidents along Canada’s railways.

Safety is critical to everything we do at Metrolinx and a passion reinforced by our CEO Phil Verster with our company-wide Safety Charter. As we increase service and ridership year over year, we continuously introduce safety improvements as we build more rail infrastructure throughout the region.

the anti-trespass mats sit next to the tracks
Metrolinx is making investments in the rights areas to improve the overall safety and security of communities.

“We regularly work with community groups and municipalities to assess impacts due to Metrolinx operations and community needs,” said Britton.

We also know that rail safety is a shared responsibility – we cannot do this alone. GO Transit has transported over a billion customers in our 52-year history and we have an excellent safety record – but we know we owe it to our customers, our communities and ourselves to always strive for better.

Metrolinx releases heart-stopping near-miss GO train video

Keep up with the social media campaign during Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Week by using the hashtags #RSW2019 #STOPTrackTragedies. Keep the conversations about rail safety going with your friends, family and in your community and remind them to #GOsafely.