The Quebec railway disaster hit home for many Lacombians as we recall the near miss back in 2001 when a train derailed near Lacombe’s downtown.
It makes us think “what if.”
The derailment in Quebec is a senseless tragedy and puts the spotlight on dangerous goods being transported by rail through communities.
Shipping dangerous goods via rail has been a safer method of transportation than using semi trucks. But the amount of crude oil shipped on Canada’s approximate 62,000 km of railway lines, has increased dramatically in the past 18 months. According to the Canadian Railway Association, there were 500 rail car loads of oil transported in 2009, compared with about 140,000 in 2013.
That’s an enormous jump.
And this number will only continue to increase as more energy producers ship their products by rail instead of pipelines.
In the ninteenth century, as Canada was settled, communities built around train tracks. It worked back then but causes safety concerns today.
If at all possible, tracks running through communities should be moved from the downtown core.
– Lisa Joy