The federal government says it’s going to direct trains to slow down when travelling through “highly urbanized areas”, but Ashcroft would like the same courtesy.
Last week, the Honourable Minister Raitt, Minister of Transport, issued an Emergency Directive to railway companies concerning the safe and secure transportation of dangerous goods.
Companies must slow their trains to a maximum of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometres per hour) when travelling in highly urbanized areas. The Emergency Directive also requires increased inspections and risk assessments along key routes used for the transportation of dangerous goods, including crude oil and ethanol. The Emergency Directive remains in place until Aug. 17, 2015.
Canada’s two largest railway operators – CN and CP – have already restricted their train speeds to a maximum of 35 mph in highly urbanized areas.
Ashcroft Council reviewed the federal government’s directive and discussed the effects it would have on Ashcroft.
“They’re reducing their speed through major urban centres but don’t seem to care about rural centres,” said Mayor Jack Jeyes.
Coun. Alf Trill suggested sending a letter to CN about the speeds of their trains through small towns “and say we’d like to see the same” (35 kph).
“Most trains that go through here on CN tracks have about 20 cars of flammable liquids on them,” said Jeyes.
Council agreed to send the letter.
Transport Canada continues to explore all measures that will further improve the safety of the Canadian railway system.