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Guelph residents furious over nighttime CN Rail train noise

Expectations for moving bumper crop were unrealistic: CN president.
Guelph residents are voicing their anger after noise from CN Rail trains kept them up all night. File / Global News

Several sleep-deprived Guelph residents are furious after CN Rail trains kept them awake all night long Sunday night into Monday morning.

Many were messaging their local councillors and Mayor Cam Guthrie on Monday morning to voice their frustration with the overnight shunting work.

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There were reports of trains blaring their horns and railway cars smashing together from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. in the Junction neighbourhood near Paisley and Edinburgh roads.

Ward 3 Coun. Phil Allt said the overnight work been going on for about a week but the horn was something new on Sunday and it reached a boiling point for residents.

“It’s been non-stop telephone calls from constituents being very concerned about being awakened by CN moving trains from Edinburgh and Paisley to down past London Road,” he said.

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The City of Guelph said it has fielded several complaints, as has MP Lloyd Longfield’s office and MPP Mike Schreiner’s.

Allt said the city’s noise bylaw doesn’t apply to CN Rail since they are a federally-regulated company.

Despite all of the complaints, there is no clear answer as to why the overnight noise is happening and even worse, there is no clear answer on when it will end.

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Mayor Cam Guthrie, who also heard many complaints, said he spoke to CN Rail on Monday, but was “extremely disappointed” with the answers he received.

“Apparently some investments, which I’m not really sure they’re explaining very well, are needed in the area and they gave me no timeline as to when these investments might be taking place,” Guthrie said in a video posted online.

“I don’t see this being resolved any time soon, which is extremely disappointing.”

Guthrie said he will be thinking about what council can do to send a message to CN Rail.

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In an email to Global News, CN Rail apologized to residents for the inconveniences and said they will engage with the city and review its operations.

The statement also addressed the investments the mayor spoke of and said CN Rail has begun making them and “will continue to invest in safety through 2020.”

“These investments will address many of the issues leading to current frustrations,” CN stated.