Guelph cyclist dies after collision involving GO train
A Guelph cyclist has died after being hit by a GO train Thursday afternoon.
The 31-year-old man was transported to a Hamilton hospital by air ambulance following the crash just after 5 p.m. Thursday.
At 12:20 p.m. Friday, police announced he had died from his injuries.
Loretta Allen, senior manager of community engagement, confirmed with CTV News it was a GO Train involved in the collision.
“We understand that Guelph Police Services have concluded their investigation into the incident and our thoughts are with the family of the victim,” said Allen in an email. “Safety is central to everything we do at Metrolinx. Metrolinx regularly conducts assessments of grade crossings to identify those that would benefit from further enhancements for the community and customers.”
Police said the investigation found the cyclist rode around the barrier “for an unknown reason” before colliding with a passing train.
Police could not confirm if the man was wearing a helmet at the time, but say the intersection is fully signaled.
“There are barricades on both sides for north and southbound traffic as well as flashing lights and bells, so full signalization, and we understand that was activated at the time of the incident,” said Scott Tracey, Guelph police spokesperson.
The crash closed Edinburgh Road North between Waterloo Avenue and Paisley Road for around two hours.
“Emergency services were called to the train tracks on Edinburgh Road between Paisley and Waterloo Avenue. The investigation revealed a southbound cyclist on Edinburgh Road entered into the intersection of the train tracks and collided with a westbound train,” said Tracey. “That individual was taken by air ambulance to Hamilton trauma centre with life-threatening injuries.”
Tracey said forensic officers were on the scene taking photos and measurements to assist with the investigation.
“This type of incident is not common, but it is certainly something that happens from time to time. It really emphasizes the need for people to always be aware of their surroundings, all users of the road and railway, to be aware of their surroundings and be aware when negotiating any type of crossing,” said Tracey.
“I never wish for anybody to have to go through something like that, to see something like that,” said Lynden Voth, who witnessed the collision.
Voth works at Fixed Gear Brewing Company located adjacent to the train track where the crash occurred.
“There was a lot of trauma, some very apparent injuries that were something that without an extensive first aid background you’re kind of at a loss of what to do,” said Voth.
GO TRAIN SPEED INCREASE
In December of 2021, Metrolinx GO Trains began moving through the area where the collision occurred at their new top speeds.
The trains gradually increased in a step pattern over a nine-week period, with speeds increasing every three weeks.
Metrolinx said the increase in speeds comes following major signalling upgrades and safety testing.
The top speed the trains travel through the area is currently 45 miles per hour, over four times the speed of 10 miles per hour the trains travelled through the area before the adjustment.
Those who live near the tracks say some trains do go by pretty quickly.
“The train is closer than you think by the time the gates go down, so I think that’s the part we get nervous about,” said Sarah Duignan, who lives nearby.
At the time of the collision, police identified the victim as a 32-year-old man. They later said he was 31. The article has been updated.