Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story: "Safety Board: tank cars must be safer". Recent derailments include Lac Megantic, New Brunswick and even a minor derailment in Waterloo a year and a half ago. Of course there have been many more across North America in the last year but these three are the most serious and or close to home. Our local issue here in Woolwixh Township has been in regards to rail contents travelling through Kitchener-Waterloo and up to Elmira. I have mentioned here in the Advocate both Sulco (CCC) and Chemtura transporting dangerous cargos and last October I listed Chemtura's list of toxic chemicals by name.

What is astonishing is that the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recommended "immediate action" in upgrading tankcars nearly twenty years ago and nothing has been done. This time they held a press conference in concert with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board who believe there could be a "major loss of life" if new safety measures aren't taken. Besides stronger railcars the TSB also recommends twice-yearly track inspections, slower train speeds and track sensors to detect faulty railcar bearings. Of course these changes come at a cost and it seems as if both our industries and governments are keener to pay the costs after a catastrophe rather than before.

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