Canadian Rails Unsafe?

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by RobertInOntario, May 29, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I heard a short news report on 680 News (a Toronto station) saying that our Canadian rail system is very unsafe -- "a disaster waiting to happen." Apparently, a rail disaster such as the derailment in Mississauga in 1979 could easily happen again.

    Could anyone comment further -- are our rails really as dangerous as this report indicates?

  2. Relic

    Relic Member

    I'll tell y'what I think. Railways are the safety hazard of the week {or day or whatever} a while ago it was kids coasting{thats sledding for you upper Canadians}without helmets.
    No I don't think our railways are as bad as they {the madia }say, not as bad as running with sizzors anyway
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Relic! That's kind of what I was thinking but I thought I'd toss this question out here.

    I'm no expert, but I frequently see the CN crews out fixing the tracks. Now, it's possible they're not doing enough or not doing the rights things, but I sure find it encouraging to see them doing maintenance.

    My office is located near a CN line and they're often doing work on the track. Also, I often hike on a trail that passes close to another CN line & I saw them doing work this past weekend.

    I've heard folks here in Toronto use the word "sledding" ... but "toboganning" is the word that I grew up with (in SW Ont.) and still use. "Sledding" does sound a little strange to me. But I've never heard of "coasting" so it must be a real Maritime word!

    Cheers, Rob
  4. I don't think that they are unsafe at all. Take into the size of most rail networks, the tonnage rolling on it etc.... They arnt more accident prone, just a ten thousand ton train derailing makes a bit more noise and draws more attention. And it gives the media something to do.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I think that the truth lies somewhere in between... Not as bad as the media tries to portray, but not necessarily as safe as the industry claims. ;)

    There was a report done by W5 a while back about CN, and CN issued a statement which (to me) seemed to contain a lot of spin. What it looked like in the end is that they had expanded (BC Rail I think) and used the acquisition's better safety rating to bolster CN's. The report may still be at the CTV website.

    The media always takes the "sensational" approach, while the industry always tries to downplay it. This was illustrated to me in something I read about aviation accidents. After a close-call, the airline said something like "No big deal. It was only a near-miss, no one was hurt and the procedures worked well.". The media said "That's all fine and well that the procedures worked, but why was there a near miss? Aren't there other procedures to prevent a near-miss in the first place?" :D

  6. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Just my 2 cents worth here. I think the North American rail systems need a lot of of work. Roadbed and bridges are old and the new motive power are heavier than the older ones that were used when both were built. Rolling stock has gotten bigger too carrying a heavier load.

    The railroads themselves are a business which sometimes results in more worries about profit than in safety.

  7. NP 1364

    NP 1364 New Member

    Its more like "Its a slow news day" stuff and since we see the railroads working on their tracks thay must be unsafe!

    No one at the news deptment go and asks the railroad "Whats going on here?"

    The railroad will tell them "its good weather and that the best time to maintance instead in the middle of winter!"sign1
  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Good point -- it certainly sounds like slow news day stuff! Rob
  9. Relic

    Relic Member

    Spin or no, I may seem to counterdict myself,I feel greed sticks it's ugly head into the mix.
    It seems that there isn't a company that makes/does anything that's content to make a profit,no it has to be a HUGE profit, If your not clearing 75 BILLION a year then your in trouble. So you try and haul 150 cars with two units.
    I've seen areal shots of a couple of wrecks and the derailed cars were in the middle of the train, just like on your model train when you have light cars in the middle and heavy cars on the end,the light cars come off on the inside of a curve.
  10. NP 1364

    NP 1364 New Member

    I've seen something like that too Putting a 60 Ft flat about mid-train between loaded twinstacks well cars and the flat is doing ALL kinds of gyrations


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