Trainjane is currently in Belgium, having landed in Brussels by plane out of Toronto, and then by train to Antwerp.
(Above: Antwerpen Centraal Station)
Although this blog is primarily concerned with how Canada’s railways operate from an environmental and social perspective in the movement of freight, it took a ride between two Belgian cities to show me just how far back in the stone ages rail really is back home in Canada.
I arrived at Brussels airport seeking my rail connection to the north part of the country. I was able to quickly purchase a ticket for the train at a kiosk in the airport. I was then told to walk down two flights of steps to the train station, right there.
Once downstairs, the first thing that astounded me was how QUIET the trains are here. When they’re not needed, they’re NOT left running, the engines are turned OFF. I stood directly next to one set of engines as the engineer went inside to fire them up.
A Critical Opportunity For Citizens to Voice Their Opinions About Current Railway Noise and Vibration Regulations
It’s been 7 years since the Federal Government in Ottawa finally passed much-needed regulations addressing railway noise and vibration into law.
This was done by amending The Canada Transportation Act, reinstating provisions to hold the railways to account after CN Rail successfully fought back against a ruling made by the Canadian Transportation Agency in 2000 in favour of residents’ noise and vibration complaints about CN’s operations at a rail yard around Oakville, Ontario. CN succeeded in overturning both the ruling and noise and vibration regulations on the basis of technicalities. Read more…
Bomb Trains, The Crude Gamble Of Oil By Rail, by Vice News, is a 23 minute journey into the troubling safety problems surrounding the boom in rail oil shipments. It’s a dire warning for communities facing massive amounts of flammable product being transported in their midst, without prior and open public consultation, and without sufficient infrastructure in place in the event of yet another catastrophic oil train accident.
Set primarily in the Seattle, Washington area and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the message and the problems associated with shipping oil by rail are virtually the same on both sides of the border.
This short film addresses the issues surrounding the use of defective DOT-111 oil tankers, problems with their repair or replacement, as well as the veil of secrecy under which the growth of rail oil shipments have taken place, with communities being the last to know what’s going on right under their own noses.
It’s a must-watch for anyone concerned about the growth of crude oil shipments by rail, and well worth the time to do so.
© Copyright 2014 RailandReason.com
Rail and Reason receives some very interesting emails, and literally, from all over.
One such recent correspondence was from Tasmania.
For those of you as rusty as some of the rail equipment that is used here in Canada, Tasmania is located just off the south of Australia. Read more…
The following is quoted from CN Rail’s website, July 15, 2014, from its “Leadership in Safety” online publication, page 10:
“99.998% of hazardous material carloads moving by CN arrive at their destination without a release caused by an accident.”
With credit to “Railroaded,” this is the recent account of what happened to the remaining .002%
Suddenly, “.002%” doesn’t look so insignificant anymore…
The fifth reported Canadian National Railway derailment in 6 weeks in Alberta occurred July 12 north of Three Hills, about 60 kilometres northeast of Calgary (CBC News). 15 cars derailed, causing disruptions to transportation services in the area. Most of the cars carried general consumer merchandise, while 2 carried chemicals for household and industrial use. Alberta Emergency Alert indicated a local road was closed for an undisclosed length of time.
Other reported CN derailments in Alberta during the past 6 weeks include:
1. July 4: 6 cars carrying crude oil, methanol, lumber and gravel derailed and flipped over near Whitecourt.
2. June 27: 11 grain cars derailed near Chisholm.
3. June 11: 20 cars carrying dangerous goods residue, grain and lumber derailed near Faust.
4. May 30: About 50,000 litres of molten sulphur spilled from 3 of 7 derailed cars north of Lac La Biche.
See CN Railway…
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