HomeLetters to the Editor

Rails safer than roads

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Dec 18, 2013 - 12:28 PM |

I’ve been watching the various articles on the recent spate of derailments and the outcry from government officials.

The government has passed laws that are downright silly regarding rail safety. 

In a 1995 study, rail traffic was proven to be 6.9 times safer than truck traffic. 

So folks, where would you rather have your traffic? On the rails, or beside you travelling on our pothole-filled roads next to a load of explosives in your little plastic car?

Railways were built to open up Canada and provide a means of transport, which they do daily — very safely, I must add.

As a retired railroader with more than 40 years experience, what really boggles my mind was the recent announcement from the Transportation minister that all cities will be informed — after the fact — of what commodities travel through the community. What is the city going do with he reams of paperwork this will create?

At least 99.99 per cent of the time, there is never an incident, and if there is, it is usually non-life-threatening and the railways deal with it swiftly and with their own funds.

If they see fit to order the railways to provide this information to all municipalities, then are all other forms of transport supplying the same information to city hall?

I am amused when the City of Greater Sudbury says we have to get CP out of downtown. A study was proposed to look at the idea, which would have cost $500,000. Was that not Joe Fabbro’s dream back in the ’60s? Has it happened? No. Will it happen? No.

CP has stated they have no interest in removing their tracks. Even if they did, who will come up with the $750 million to $1 billion to remove and relocate? Certainly not CP. Why would they? Is the city going to pay the relocation cost? I think not.

I also get a kick out of people that complain about being tied up by a train at Elm Street. I say they are very silly for wasting time and gas.

Is there not an underpass just around the corner to avoid this situation? I guess I am the only one that uses it.

If city council was forward-thinking, they would block off the crossing on both sides and reroute all traffic and pedestrians to the underpass.

CP also had a derailment on a bridge this summer. Did it do any damage? No. Did it disrupt the city? No. Did it cost the city anything? No. Yet when trucks and cars collide, the road is tied up for hours upon hours. Not fair, is it?

I would rather have more product moved by rail than highways or pipelines — it’s just safer.

John Colasimone
Greater Sudbury

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