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Old August 1st, 2013, 07:56 AM   #321
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That railway boss is a walking trainwreck. The more he talks the more the company's liabilities. He must be getting yelled at by his insurance firm.
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Old August 1st, 2013, 08:17 AM   #322
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Aha! Podcast featuring interview now available as follows ... it's the first one, occuring about 2 minutes into the audio file: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/a...0731_27318.mp3
'... We're all victims. ...' 9'35"
I'm craving! to know how his other execs are dealing with their (Railworld's? MM&AR's?) predicament. Had colleagues ever recommended acquiring a PR consultant? After all, the parent company must bear some muscle, no? Altogether mystifying. The fear around here is the railway filing for bankruptcy.

Decontamination is reported to take many years to accomplish. The toxins have dispersed much farther afield beyond the town, affecting much of the watershed ... 6 000 000 litres of, supposedly, sweet crude got loose. Authorities were very concerned about the composition of the cargo, I still haven't heard of any result of their analysis.

Most of the investigators started packing up today. The red zone (off limits) has been lifted; dismantling of the screen fencing along its perimeter has also begun. There's now a comparably small yellow zone there that stragglers are to comb for any human remains.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 02:46 AM   #323
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Search for the missing 5 people now called off. Transport Safety Board have collected all the evidence, and are now working in their lab.

Meanwhile, the mounties have gone to railway's office in Farnham, conducting their own search, I believe.

The composition of the cargo contents is under scrutiny, the TSB say the fiery explosions and fire were ever so more intense than thought possible.

Also today a pair of oil companies in Alberta and New Brunswick announced their agreement to build a west-to-east pipeline through Quebec's St. Lawrence Valley, a plan that doesn't sit well with the province or first nations.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 01:28 AM   #324
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Quote:
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In response to Lac-Mégantic, this country's FRA has issued fresh, strict directives.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 08:47 AM   #325
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Yesterday's
Lac-Megantic crash 'a failure of management,' union rep says
'... "The only reason to leave a train running {overnight} is to avoid a brake test," ...'
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Old August 7th, 2013, 07:28 PM   #326
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Police have handed the red zone over to the town. Of the approximate 200 evacuees, most are being told they can return to the zone in about one year with the remainder being told never, all due to lengthy decontamination being anticipated. Either Transport Canada or the Transport Safety Board were with the mounties in the railway's Farnham office, looking for documents possibly downgrading the certification of the fuel cargo. Media are now being allowed to take pictures of the devastation. There's still fencing. 40 buildings destroyed.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 10:59 PM   #327
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In the USA just this afternoon, the railway has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 08:44 AM   #328
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What are the consequences for the victims?
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Old August 8th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #329
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Their next biggest fear has now happened.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 11:29 PM   #330
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Now a third party, the Canadian Transport Agency, has revoked the railway's operating license (eff. 20 Aug) due to their being under-insured. This belated move by the federal authority appears to be pissing off many Quebeckers. Quebeckers are not pleased that neither the provincial nor federal government is releasing their preliminary findings on the toxins in soil, water or air.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 06:19 AM   #332
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The Quebec environment ministry is now claiming the CPR also owes money for the clean-up, as that railway handed the train over to the MM&A in their Côte-St-Luc (CSL) yard. By law, the CPR has 24 hours to respond to the ministry's claim.

A couple of environment groups tested samples of river quality they took one week after the spill, claiming they found the water contaminated nearly 400,000 times above the acceptable limit. Although still not publishing any finding of theirs, the ministry has now come out saying that the level of contamination has now fallen to just above the acceptable limit. Confusion abounds over the ministry's reticence, e.g., their secrecy has no bearing on matters of public security (i.e., terrorism), thus residents throughout the region are being deprived from assessing what precautionary measures they ought to be taking. Speculation is mounting that the oil sunk to lake and river bottoms, and that if left untouched all the work cleaning up shores and banks will have been useless, because next spring's thaw will recontaminate them all due to upliftment of the sunken oil.

The mayor of CSL asked the CPR what hazardous cargo is being transported around his inner suburb Montreal town, and is now happy that the railway has shared their confidential answer with him. Since his town is surrounded by train tracks and two marshalling yards, I'm curious whether the CNR who owns the other yard has received the same request from the mayor and also answered him. One of his residents compiled the following request at a 2007 hearing with the Cdn Transportation Agency that clearly outlines many possibilities that Lac-Mégantic unfortunately experienced just last month, but it was outright refused for supposedly being out of bounds of that agency's mandate: Safety questions for The Railway Safety Review
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Old August 16th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #333
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The CPR is appealing the ministry's order.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 02:22 AM   #334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
PM Mulroney and gang abolished the Montreal-Regina-Calgary-Vancouver (The Canadian) service in the late-80s. The Toronto-Saskatoon-Edmonton-Vancouver wasn't touched, although I can't remember when the daily service was demoted to thrice-weekly service; however, its name The Super Continental was replaced by the 'The Canadian'. Anyhow, he and his mob eliminated half of the country's rail services at the same time; many, many stations were abandoned.

BTW, news has reported at least a couple of times the past several weeks that the operator will be eliminating dozens and dozens of stations, although there's been no mention of this adopted plan of theirs on their website. The operator is being criticised for sneakily setting about to abolish the Montreal-Gaspé service by means of disingenuous data, statistics.

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Old August 17th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #335
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The CTA has granted the MM&A an extension of their operating license, as the railway has now proved sufficient insurance coverage. Therefore, the CTA's revocation shall occur 01 Oct instead of 20 Aug.

The town's victims are pursuing CP via the court(s) for appealing the ministry's order to pay for the clean-up.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 02:38 AM   #336
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Today's :
Senate seeks railway overhaul in wake of Lac-Mégantic

Committee studied transport of oil and gas by pipelines, railways and tankers
"A Senate committee study launched months before the fatal Lac-Mégantic, Que., train disaster urges the federal government to launch a major review of Canada's railway regulations, to better ensure the safe transport of dangerous goods.

The report released Thursday by the energy, environment and natural resources committee contains 13 recommendations related to the transportation of crude oil and natural gas by railways, pipelines and tankers.

Some of the key recommendations are:
  • The federal government should launch an arm's-length review of the railway regulatory framework, standards and industry practices.
  • Transport Canada should apply appropriate minimum liability coverage thresholds to ensure rail companies have the financial capacity to cover damages caused by a major incident.
  • The National Energy Board and Transport Canada should create a web portal that includes interactive maps indicating detailed information on spills and incidents for pipelines, tankers and railcars. It should include the types of product released and the cause of the incident.
  • The Transportation Safety Board should expand and modernize its database to provide detailed information on ship-sourced spills, including the type of ship, and the volume and type of product released.
The Senate report said the Lac-Mégantic train derailment that claimed at least 47 lives in early July underscored concerns many Canadians already had about transporting oil by rail. Those concerns are what prompted the study back in November, and led the committee to hear from more than 50 witnesses. The committee also did site visits across the country over the last nine months.

"The goal of our study was to examine the current state of emergency and spill prevention, preparedness and response frameworks under federal authority and to make recommendations to improve public safety and the protection of the environment," Senator Richard Neufeld, chair of the committee, said in a news release.

Overhaul of railway regime needed

"We've been working on these issues for the last nine months and the shocking Lac-Mégantic rail disaster has only intensified the need to address hydrocarbon transportation safety."

The report said the loss of life, property damage and lasting environmental damage have convinced the committee that a major arm's-length review of the industry's safety regime is necessary.

"The committee believes the Lac-Mégantic tragedy could have the same impact on the rail industry as the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill has had on marine oil transportation. Namely, it resulted in significant changes in tanker design and a major overhaul of Canada’s marine spill preparedness and response programs," it said.

The report said for the most part, oil and gas are transported safely in Canada, and that there are extensive regulatory frameworks and standards to promote safety. Senator Grant Mitchell, deputy chair of the committee, said at a news conference that Canadians can have confidence in the systems.

But he said that as long as society chooses to use oil and gas for energy, it will need to be transported.

Safety culture audits

"As long as they are transported, we can never say there will be zero risk," he said.

Senator Neufeld told the news conference that prior to the Lac-Mégantic disaster, the overall safety record of rail transport had been good and the report notes that derailments and accidents have decreased in the last decade.

"We would like to see that continue and never see another accident like we witnessed in Lac-Mégantic," he said.

Five of the recommendations in the report are related to rail safety, and one of them suggests that Transport Canada implement a set of recommendations that were made in 2011 by the environment commissioner. A lot of questions were raised in the wake of the Lac-Mégantic disaster about why those recommendations were not acted upon.

Another five recommendations are on tankers and two are on pipelines.

The committee said it heard from many witnesses during the 18 hearings about the importance of having a healthy safety culture and that employees on the frontlines should be encouraged to question management on safety decisions.

The report recommends that Transport Canada and the National Energy Board do mandatory audits of the companies they regulate to ensure that they are in fact maintaining proper safety cultures.

"They all say that they're safe companies but what we need to do is set up systems to verify that," said Neufeld. "We need to make sure there are no further Lac-Mégantics."

The National Energy Board responded to the report with a statement that said it supports the committee's recommendations related to the regulation of pipelines. It noted that it hosted a safety forum in July to explore emerging issues in the oil and gas industries and that there was a lot of discussion about safety.

"A strong safety culture and well-implemented management systems provide additional layers of protection against catastrophic accidents. The NEB believes leadership is key to establishing, fostering and instilling a healthy safety culture," the statement read.
'
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 09:50 AM   #337
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Le Chaleur

Newswire
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1213...aspe-suspended

Quote:

VIA Rail service between Matapédia, New Carlisle and Gaspé suspended

MONTREAL, Aug. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada (viarail.ca) announced that as a result of Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie (SCFG)'s rail infrastructure problems, service between Matapédia, New Carlisle and Gaspé will be suspended. SCFG has not yet confirmed when the necessary upgrades will be completed. Until such time, in order to ensure the safety of passengers, VIA Rail will cease selling tickets for service between Matapédia, New Carlisle and Gaspé and remove the temporary bus service after September 17.

"This decision follows Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie's announcement to suspend traffic due to rail corrosion and malfunctioning crossing signals", explained Marc Laliberté, President and CEO of VIA Rail Canada. VIA Rail trains will only run between Montréal and Matapédia until SCFG has completed the necessary work.

Ticket holders for travel on Montréal-Gaspé trains after September 17 will have two options: obtain a full refund, or modify their reservation (under the applicable fare plan conditions) for travel to or from Matapédia. For assistance, please contact our sales office at 1-888 VIA RAIL (1-888-842-7245) to modify your booking.

Ticketing service for municipalities served by VIA Rail will resume as soon as it receives the assurance that safety standards are met once again on the tracks to these destinations.

VIA Rail thanks you for your understanding, and apologizes for any inconvenience that may be caused by the suspension of service. We will communicate any further developments in a timely manner.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 10:43 PM   #338
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Okay, for ****'s sake, enough with Lac-Megantic...its turning the thread into a black chronicle.

Aren't there any more cheerful subjects to talk about when it comes to Canada's railways?
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 11:09 PM   #340
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Yesterday's
Transport agency orders CP Rail to resume transferring cargo to MMA
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