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Rail safety should be municipal election issue

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Jan 29, 2014 - 2:32 PM |
After only a week in the new year, we are witnessing at least 16 enthusiastic new candidates preparing for 10 months of campaigning for the fall municipal election.

It is presumed these enterprising and ambitious contenders will envision a dynamic future for our city with a platform that is appealing to the citizens of this community.

An undertaking they definitely should study is the removal of certain railway tracks from this area.

Most Sudburians have, over the years, complained and voiced their concerns relating to the CPR tracks at the Elm Street crossing.

Unfortunately the railway tracks that should be a real concern to the citizens of this community are the CN tracks extending east to west through the city.

These tracks cross several major arteries day and night — over Ethelbert Street, through the Donovan into the Flour Mill, crossing Notre Dame Ave. into New Sudbury, traversing Barrydowne Road and over the Falconbridge Highway.

In every area, it passes through densely populated sections, including schoolyards and playgrounds.

These CN trains are transporting about 100 cars with various types of chemicals and inflammable and caustic materials.

The high-pitched screeching noise created by the wheels pressing against the metal tracks demonstrate that these tracks were not built for long-haul trains. Metal wheels that can easily break off and cause a derailment.

This is a major concern to the people of our neighbourhood. It’s an accident waiting to happen. Remember the catastrophe in Lac Megantic. Almost weekly there are stories about derailments.

Railways were initially created to transport people from coast to coast, not dangerous and harmful chemicals through densely-populated areas.

We must be more vigilant with the federal government to pressure CN to relocate their tracks outside the city limits.

This must be a priority when candidates plan their platforms.

Tony Sottile
Greater Sudbury

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