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This article was published 4/9/2018 (538 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The locomotive's diesel fumes waft over a child's backyard trampoline. The deep rumble of the engine that's been left idling since Monday night is interrupted by loud snaps and hisses from valves releasing pressure Tuesday afternoon.
The train replaces the locomotive that arrived Friday night, and was parked and left running until Labour Day. It had neighbours scratching their heads and plugging their ears and noses.
"It's unbelievable," West Kildonan resident Al Donahue said Tuesday.
"The federal government is trying to push a carbon tax and this thing is just sitting there idling and noisy," he said of the line that runs next to his home on Southall Drive.
Before he bought the house 25 years ago, Donahue did his homework. He learned a CP Rail train passed by twice a day: at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
"You could set your watch on it," he said. That's changed in the last three years: now, at all hours, trains come and stay for days at a time, and are left running.
"They were so good before," said Donahue, who's been keeping a journal of when trains come and go and how long they're left idling right beside the homes on his street and the other side of the tracks.
He and his neighbours have complained to the City of Winnipeg, the province, the railway and federal government about the fumes and the noise. Kildonan—St. Paul MP MaryAnn Mihychuk's office looked into it last year.
In June 2017, the Liberal MP sent a letter to Donahue and his neighbours announcing a "successful resolution" to the problem. It didn't turn out to be permanent resolution, however.
"We worked with CP, and we had the issue resolved," Mihychuk said by phone Tuesday.
Her office was in touch last year with a superintendent of operations at the railway who was "terrific" and dealt with the residents concerns about the long-idling trains "yarded" close by. "He got transferred and there was a new superintendent and we're trying to address the same issue for the second time," said Mihychuk.
"There were complaints coming in the spring, then things settled down," she said. Mihychuk said she was away last week and was just made aware the idling trains were back, getting on her constituents' nerves over the Labour Day weekend.
"We'll get back on the phones with CP," she said.
CP Rail did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
On Wednesday, it issued a statement saying, "The tracks in Winnipeg are a vital part of CP’s infrastructure, and like any part of the rail network, operations can take place 24/7, including idling, shunting, switching and trains moving through the corridor."
The Canadian Transportation Agency's rail infrastructure advisory committee made up of industry, government and public representatives posted a document online saying diesel locomotives are left idling for several reasons, including to let oncoming trains pass, for mechanical inspections or repairs, for inclement weather to pass and crew changes.
Donahue, who's been keeping an eye on the idling trains, said there's no logical reason a locomotive has to be left running right beside their backyards for hours and days — especially when there is a huge empty field behind Southall Drive next to the tracks.
"They could back the train up 500 yards, and it would bother no one."
Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.
Updated on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 11:04 PM CDT: Adds hyperlink to story
September 5, 2018 at 11:19 AM: adds CP statement