Monday, February 12, 2007

CN Strike, GO Transit Smooth

Thanks to the staff for making sure my train arrived on time.
I noticed no delays due to freight trains this morning, maybe its
good that they are on strike our commute is great.

However on a more serious note, I saw an article in 24 the other day that say that GO Transit
may be getting rid of CN in 2008. I am not sure how accurate that story is but its interesting.
From a recent letter I got from the Ministry of Transport it makes me wonder if they are not making their payments on time.

Here is a response from Minsitry of Transport, I emailed them and this was the response:

Dear Chris Williams:

Thank you for your correspondence of
5, 2007, to the Honourable
Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Infrastructure and Communities,
regarding Canadian National's
operation of GO trains.

The Minister has asked me
to reply
on his behalf. Transport Canada is
responsible for regulating
the safety of
rail operations, including the
transportation of dangerous
goods, under the
Railway Safety Act and the
Transportation of Dangerous
Goods Act.
However, there are no federal
requirements that
stipulate the minimum number
of operating crew members
required for
commuter trains.

As such, CN's crew-reduction initiative
would not require any
exemptions to
existing federal operating
requirements. CN has provided
Transport Canada with a
copy of its risk
assessment on the crew-reduction
initiative and has met with
representatives to discuss the risk
assessment so that consideration
could be given to union members'
comments. Further to
Canada's overall role in
promoting safety, the department has
reviewed CN's risk
assessment and
determined that CN complies with all
federal regulatory
Should safety issues be
identified in the future, I
can assure you
that Transport Canada will
work with CN to address them.
Again, thank
you for writing. Yours

Andrew Walasek
Special Assistant
- Ontario

The first thing that comes to my mind is no wonder we had a freight train accident at Mimico this summer, when the federal regulatory requirements are so lax. Given the stipulation of the law the frieght train could have possible had no crew and still passed regulation.
The official version of this story was that the heat caused the tracks to warp. If this was the case then how come more of the tracks did not warp with the heat. There have been a
lot of hot summers so over the past while we should have seen more of these
accidents. This brings up another point why were passengers during
this incident made endure hours of heat on the train that should have been
brought back to the station so they could find an alternate way home.
Instead those passengers were left to the point that someone cracked and
opened the doors and everyone ran across the fields. Instead of
attempting to safely get them across the tracks there were police there
issuing people tickets for trespassing.
I guess when it boils down to it, wherever the Government is receiving lots of money that is where they listen, when it comes to safety well I guess that is another matter.

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