For some time, residents have been concerned about the amount of dangerous cargo rushing by our homes along the Dupont rail corridor. After the derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec in 2013 some members of the Rathnelly Area Residents Association organized, along with representatives from neighbouring communities, to push for improved rail safety in our community.
They created Rail Safety First, which advocates for safe, accountable and transparent rail through increased government regulation and enforcement of the rail industry to ensure public safety is always a top priority.
The derailment on August 21, 2016 of a CP Rail train at Dupont Street and Howland Avenue underscored the risks in transporting dangerous goods through densely populated urban areas and highlighted the urgent need to take action to improve rail safety. Rail Safety First is calling on the federal government to take steps on 10 critical action items:
- Relocate dangerous goods trains outside densely populated areas
- Reduce the speed and length of trains carrying dangerous goods
- Accelerate the phase-out of outdated, unsafe tank cars
- Stabilize Bakken crude before loading
- Overhaul the safety management system
- Improve railway technology and operations
- Increase transparency of transportation of dangerous goods
- Railways should bear the cost of preparedness
- Shift liability and compensation costs away from the public
- Revisit guidelines for new development near rail operations