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Mayor says extra push on to silence Markham train horns by early 2018
August 7, 2017
By Tim Kelly

Markham's train horns will be silenced early next year - if Mother Nature co-operates said Mayor Frank Scarpitti.

Reacting to concerns raised by a lobby group worried the deadline to stop the horns will be pushed back to late summer 2018 instead of a long-promised spring silencing, the mayor said a concerted effort is on by all parties to get a move on.

"We're not where we should have been" in the process, said the mayor in an interview last week.

Scarpitti met last week with executives and staff of Metrolinx, city staff and the consultant brought on board to bring in safety measures to silence the horns at every Markham rail crossing at a cost of $6 million, shared by Markham and York Region taxpayers.

"The whole intent was to bring together everyone to re-examine, even putting extra resources on the project, to try and get these safety measures installed as quickly as possible. With the work and the juncture we are at this point in time, it will really depend on the type of October, November and December we're going to have," to get the safety measures installed by early next year, Scarpitti said.

The mayor indicated that if it's a mild fall and winter the measures could result in the horns being silenced by the end of the first quarter in 2018.

"But that's pushing it," he indicated.

For Shanta Sundarason of, a lobby group dedicated to eliminating train whistles in the city of Markham, "If the horns are not silenced by spring of 2018 as assured by council, then we will deal with that at that time.

"Council has not been keeping on top of the progress otherwise we would not be three months behind,” she said.

Both Sundarason and Scarpitti would like to see the recently added 11 p.m. train that runs through to Stouffville stopped, but little progress has been made on that effort to this point.

Scarpitti did raise the issue with Metrolinx, but didn't say if the transit authority would heed Markham's wishes.

Sundarason said she wants the train either cancelled, silenced or rescheduled and definitely wants the 11 o'clock train horns ceased before school starts in September.