COMMENTARY · 12th January 2014
Between Terrace and Prince Rupert BC on Highway 16 is Exchamsiks River Provincial Park. It is traditional Ancestral Indigenous Tsimshian Land and the site of some of the world’s best salmon fishing grounds. At this location Canadian National Railroad has prepared their tracks for a derailment of disastrous proportions.
A rail monitoring station is wired directly to the tracks at the exact spot where the tracks are coming apart. One can hear the massive container rail trains thunder by while fishing off of the rocks. The clanging tracks and pounding knock of the disintegrating tracks can be heard for miles.
One wonders who inspects these rail lines or does CN just wait for a derailment to repair the track.
On April 19, 2013, a train derailed just east of Terrace which dumped numerous cars directly into the Skeena River; one of the worlds few last unpolluted salmon river systems. That derailment was an obvious track separation much like what appears to be happening at Exchamsiks. Read about that derailment by clicking here.
Nothing is unusual about CN and their lack of regard for safety. Terrace has seen numerous derailments, some with tanker cars far more explosive than the Lac Megantic explosion. Read a compilation history by clicking Here.
Profiteering at the expense of public safety and the environment makes a strong case against the Regan/Thatcher/Mulroney privatization agenda. Maybe it is time to return to government owned and inspected public infrastructure. The private interests appear not to care at all.
As for CN they have such incredible insurance policies it is cheaper for them to simply destroy all the derailed cars and the contents, bury them if possible of simply haul them to scrap, rather than make any attempt to recover anything. The policy is to clear the track as soon as possible to get the trains rolling again.
This could be behind the failure to take the time to inspect and repair. Insurance covers the costs of repairs after a derailment. Inspection and repair adds to the cost of the operation where a derailment adds to the profits and pays for the repairs.
The dip and wear in the track can be seen in this image
Note the CN monitoring station in the bushes are wired directly to this section of track - are these just for show?
The disintegration is obvious
Note how the track pins are working out and the track retaining plates show signs of wear from moving side to side as the container railcars roll by.
CNR derailment in USA
Comment by Larry on 31st January 2014
Another derailment can be seen on cbc news today. It happened in the southern US and some cars contained methanol.
Methanol in tank cars.....
Comment by Larry on 25th January 2014
As info...Shell in Kitimat off loading ships of methanol right now and moving it out via rail in tank cars. Do not know how dangerous this product is but am concerned, especially with the condition of the rails between Kitimat and Alberta.
Federal MP's to tour Kitimat area.....
Comment by Larry on 20th January 2014
As info, sometime in Feb. there will be a group of
federal MP's touring our area regarding the overall transportation of dangerous goods in the region.
I would recommend that anyone who knows how to make contact with this group, make them aware of the article before they arrive. They must also look at marine and hiway transportation weaknesses and come up with legislation to "fix them"
Comment by LTA on 14th January 2014
Those problems are actually quite minor. As a former employee of CN, I know there are areas of that track that are much worse. But with the increased rail traffic, it's tough to actually get time to fix anything. CN doesn't stop trains for minor repairs, they just slowdown over the troubled spots untill somebody has time to fix them.
Ed Note: Yes and as it turns out, this section of track appears to be repaired now, a visit to the site today determined repairs were done.
Comment by Janice Robinson on 13th January 2014
But you know what? The Canadian political system is a total useless sham. It keeps the little minds of the middle class busy while they're giving it to you up the you know where.
Christy Clark tells them all they're rich, everybody's working, all is well......and, duh, they believe her. Most people don't know who the hell their great-grandparents were, nor where exactly they came from. Likewise, don't tell me they give two shits about their own future descendants!
So why should they care about any territory in particular?
We can squawk all we want. These sins will continue ad nauseum until it is all gone. If needed, they will bring in the police/army to ensure the extraction continues. They will slander, sabotage, imprison, and even kill those who protest.
This is how it has been for about 400 years. When one area is barren, they all just move on..........
Back in the day, they told the sheeple the railway was for people. That's what they said. Now, humans are just a pain in the ass that corporations must endure (with the government's help).
Maybe they'll fix that track, now that you've pointed it out. Not to prevent an environmental catastrophe though! Heaven forbid if the extraction is hampered in any way!
Comment by rick on 12th January 2014
been saying it for years. same thing here in kitimat. seems its every where.insurance scams for big corperation. facts speak for them selfs. bad here to. you think it`ll be the next train comin threw. just a waitin. council don`t care. oooooooooooo forgot. job creation, more temps.yet we need skilled labour to extrac the resouces china owns. were in dedt to our ears.. good luck digging your way outa this people. hope you made provisions for the future generation,as there going to need it. god help us all. canada has fail the people,goverment has fail canada. greed controls.