Wednesday, July 11, 2007

 

B.C. Rail didn't operate this way ... CN was never interested in our north-south haul

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TRAIN DOOMED FROM START, TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD REPORT FINDS

Cathryn Atkinson
Squamish BC
The Globe and Mail - July 12, 2007

Outdated technology and poor training and supervision caused the 2005 CN derailment says the TSB report released yesterday {Snip}...

John Buchanan is a Squamish resident and former BC Rail car man who was once part of a team responsible for the safety inspection of all inbound and outbound trains at the Squamish depot ... that job disappeared. "They don't do those inspections any more since the CN takeover," he said ...

Mr Buchanan added that " ... When CN bought BC Rail, one of the things in that agreement was that after 5 years CN no longer had to do any operations on this line. They already have a north-south haul going through the Fraser Canyon. They were never interested in our north-south haul because of the Cheakamus Canyon ... Mark my words, after the 5 years is up in a year or two, you won't be seeing freight coming up and down this line."

Click here for complete article in The Globe and Mail:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070712.wBCspill12/BNStory/National/home


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TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING BLAMED FOR CHEAKAMUS RAIL SPILL

Government report says CN operations still a risk


CBC News
Wednesday July 11, 2007

The Transportation Safety Board has found that the use of old technology and a lack of training and supervision were responsible for a CN derailment that spilled 40,000 litres of caustic soda into the Cheakamus River.

Despite improvements by the railway, the board said it is concerned about the risk of a similar derailment in the future.

The spill two years ago killed more than 500,000 fish and caused extensive environmental damage on the southwestern B.C. river.

The board released its findings Wednesday in Squamish, B.C.

It said in its report that the three-kilometre train had seven engines, including two in the middle. But those two middle engines shut down less than 15 minutes after leaving North Vancouver because they were incorrectly set up to pull in the wrong direction.

Alarm bells did go off, but they did not notify the crew that the two locomotives in the middle of the train had shut down.

In turn, the crew did not pass the information on to a new crew that took over in Squamish because the train appeared to be working fine.

The train eventually started stalling on the steep grade and sharp curves nearing the bridge over the Cheakamus River, the report said

When another locomotive at the front of the train was powered up to prevent a stall, the light, empty cars behind 'stringlined,' pulling them over the inside rail of the curve, resulting in a derailment, the report said.

The safety board also found that CN Rail resumed operations of long trains in extreme mountain environments without a proper risk assessment and consideration of the value of local knowledge and experience.

"The Squamish Subdivision is one of the most challenging railway lines in Canada," said Wendy Tadros, head of the Transportation Safety Board, in a written statement.

"It is not like operating between Edmonton and Winnipeg, or even between Vancouver and Jasper. This is an extreme mountain environment with curves that are twice as sharp and grades more than twice as steep as on other CN main lines. There is no room for error."

A CN spokesman said the company is still reviewing the report. At the time of the accident, CN already had policies and procedures in place that, when properly followed and applied, prevent accidents like the derailment near Squamish, said spokesman Jim Feeney.

But because of current and potential legal action against CN, there will be no further comment from the company, he added.

The Transportation Safety Board is a government organization responsible for investigating transportation accidents. It does not find fault or recommend charges.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2007/07/11/bc-tsbcheakamus.html

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Compare Vancouver Sun's report under the July 11 headline:
No fish story: Chemical spill in river will benefit salmon.


Next day, July 12, a better story appeared in Vancouver Sun:
DANGEROUS ERRORS
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=3f4e60dc-fc02-498e-a331-c591de4681cf&k=48616

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And in Vancouver Province - July 12, 2007

Two key engines were out of service before 144-car train de-railed: Report.
Vancouver Province
- July 12, 2007

Quote: Fowler said that after B.C. Rail was taken over by CN in 2004, the expertise on how to handle the mountainous terrain was lost. "With staff reductions it resulted in a loss of all that knowledge and expertise and it resulted in a lack of training and proper supervision that contributed to this accident," he said.

Read more: http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=594bc7b6-5106-4a90-a6d1-87298a01498e

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Comments:
Hi Mary. This is not the right place to draw your attention to Bill Tielemans article about one of our favourite lobyists so just read it and go check Bill's Blog then drop my comments from this story line. I just lost most of my email addresses a couple of days ago to God only knows where. shoud be a interesting day when the Judge gets them all together again DL
 
The Charges Under the Criminal Code of Canada in case #23299-:
Aneal Basi sec 121 sub 1a (ii)
sec 122
Udhi Basi sec 121 1a (ii)
sec 121 1 (c)
sec 121 1 (d)
sec 122
sec 380 1(a) times 2
Bobby Virk sec 121 1(a) (ii)
sec 121 1(c)
sec 121 1(d)
sec 122
sec 380 1(a) times 2

CCC 121(1) Everyone commits an offence who,
(a)directly or indirectly
(i)gives, offers or agrees to offer to and official or to any member of his family, or to anyone for the benefit of an official or
(ii)being an official, demands, accepts, or offers, or agrees to accept from any person for himself or another person,
a loan, reward, advantage, or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in connection with
(iii)the transaction of business with or any matter of business relating to the government, or
(iv)a claim against Her Majesty, or any benefit that Her Majesty, is authorized or is entitled to bestow,
whether or not, in fact, the official is able to cooperate, render assistance, exercise influence, or do, or omit to do what is proposed as the case may be
(b)having dealings of any kind with the government,directly or indirectly pays a comission or reward to,or confers an advantage or benefit of any kind on an employee or official of the government with which the dealings take place, or to any member of the employees or officials family or to anyone for the benefit of the employee or official with respect to those dealings, unless the person has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of the government with which the dealings take place.
(c)being an official or an employee of the government directly or indirectly, demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept from a person who has dealings with the government a commission, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind for themselves or another person, unless they have the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government that employs them or of which they are an official.
121 (1)d having or pretending to have influence with the government or with a minister of the government or official, directly or indirectly demands, accepts, or offers, or agrees to accept for themselves or for another person a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act ot omission in connection with
(i)anything mentioned in sub paragraph (a)(iii) or (iv) or,
(ii) the appointment of any person, including themselves to an office.
Breach of Trust by Public Officer:
122 Every official who, in connection with the duties of his office commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence is guilty and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person
380 (1)everyone who by deceipt or falsehood or fraudulant means, whether or not it is a false pretense within the meaning of this act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service
(a)is guilty of an indictable offense and is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years, where the subject-matter of the offense is a testimentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offense exceeds five thousand dollars.


I have deliberately written in sec 121 (b) to possibily allow a better perspective of the charges. Having read this a few times I can't help wondering why others have not been charged. But these are the charges as they stand for the three men accused. We will see what next week brings.

My appologies for any typos.
 
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