Rail Safety

WITH the full magnitude of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy having set in, rail safety and the transportation of oil have become national topics

WITH the full magnitude of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy in Quebec having set in, rail safety and the safe transportation of oil in general has become one of the big national topics this summer.

News of the tragic loss of life and the pollution of their downtown core is especially poignant for towns located in industrialized areas with rail yards near town centres.

Terrace does share some similarities with Lac-Mégantic in terms of its small population and rail system running through its heart.

Indeed, many small Canadian towns sprang up around our railways and  they still provide a symbolic reminder of the historical forces that shaped our modern world.

Last week, Transport Canada announced a list of new rules for trains, mainly related to safe operation. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is also establishing a National Municipal Rail Safety Working Group that will include municipal associations here in the northwest.

While we tend to take the presence of safe rail for granted, derailments do happen fairly regularly, and the fact of the matter is that dangerous goods do pass through the Terrace train yard all the time.

Here lies another persuasive argument for building a new overpass. It would  provide a connection between Mills Memorial Hospital in the south half of town and other emergency response centres in the horseshoe to the north. Just in case.