Concerns over rail safety ongoing

A meeting to discuss rail safety is scheduled for March 2015.

A CN Rail train derailed near Decker Lake on July 25, 2014 due to a collision with a loaded logging truck. Although the exact circumstances of the collision are still being reviewed, the incident has raised some concerns about rail safety in the area.

In order to identify those concerns and find solutions, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) has scheduled a meeting for March 25, 2015.

“We have also sent a letter to the federal minister of transportation, our local MP and MLA expressing our concerns,” said Bill Miller, director of Electoral Area B for the RDBN. “Communication is the most important part of any emergency preparedness program and we hope to convince CN Rail of that.”

All the regional and municipal first responders and emergency personnel as well as the RCMP have been invited to the meeting.

“We continue to work towards a solution to the concern of our first responders and our emergency personnel at the regional district,” said Miller.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen has also been working to improve rail safety. Cullen has been trying to introduce a bill to parliament that would strengthen rail regulations, but said the process is going “very slowly.”

“We are working on a bill right now that would notify communities when dangerous goods come through towns,” he told Moose FM. “We already have some legislation in parliament that would greatly improve rail safety but the government is still dragging their feet after all of these accidents.”

The train derailment near Decker Lake had no life threatening injuries, but the driver of the logging truck was taken to hospital as a precaution. The crash and derailment saw the involvement of 22 intermodal cars and two locomotives, but not the entire train.

In the immediate aftermath of the collision, the logging truck was leaking diesel fuel, but there were no issues regarding a hazardous materials spill due to the collision and subsequent derailment of the train.


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