CP Rail has no plans to partner with the city for a separated crossing on Harris Road.

Railway safe: CP tells Pitt Meadows

Train hazmat accident rates are down 91 percent since 1980

  • Oct. 10, 2013 5:00 p.m.

Canadian Pacific Railway assured the City of Pitt Meadows on Tuesday that there were ample emergency measures in place to prevent a deadly disaster, such as the one in Lac Megantic, Que.

Detailing the company’s plans and frequency of inspections, Rick Poznikoff, CP’s senior manager of community relations, stressed safety was a top priority for the company.

He told council that tracks leading into and out of Pitt Meadows are visually checked weekly and every six weeks with an ultrasonic device. Locomotives and train cars are inspected frequently and the transport of dangerous goods is highly controlled.

“We are the safest railway in North America,” said Poznikoff, as he outlined the steps the railway takes to ensure trains roll safely through the city.

“We are highly regulated and well prepared for any form of emergency.”

He noted rail Hazmat accident rates are down 91 percent since 1980. Other statistics show accidents have dropped 38 percent since 2000.

“But like any mode of transportation, things do happen,” said Poznikoff.

“Planes do fall out of the sky and trains do derail. That’s why we have an emergency plan.”

The call to meet with CP officials comes three months after a runaway train carrying crude oil destroyed much of the Quebec town of Lac Megantic.

Pitt Meadows requested to meet with the company after hearing from concerned residents.

“The disaster in Megantic was a tragic event and it did emphasize the need to make this meeting happen as soon as possible,” said Mayor Deb Walters

“I am sure that most communities across Canada that have intermodal yards in their towns felt the same urgency.”

CPR’s 22,500-kilometre (14,000-mile) network extends from the Port of Vancouver in Canada’s west to The Port of Montreal in Canada’s east, and to the U.S. industrial centres of Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, New York City and Buffalo.

In Pitt Meadows, the company owns 83 hectares of land, 20 of which is an intermodal yard with the rest slated for possible expansion.

CP told council it worked closely with both city staff and the fire department on a variety of concerns from working together on emergency planning to addressing trespassers and repairing holes in fences.

Walters said CP’s presentation reassured council that the company has an extensive safety program in place that addresses tracks, cars and engines.

She added the city will continue to meet with the railway quarterly to address rail-related issues, such as the speed of trains, train lengths and faulty crossings.

A query about a separated crossing over the train tracks at Harris Road elicited a disappointing response from CP. The crossing remains a bottle neck and point of frustration for commuters.

Walters said CP doesn’t plan to partner anytime soon for a crossing at Harris Rd.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge theatre launches fall season at only 10 per cent capacity

The ACT Arts Centre only allowing 50 patrons at performances due to public safety guidelines

Grinch steals Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society’s safe

Theft happened early Tuesday morning at organization’s Albion fairground office

Fire at supportive housing on Royal Crescent

Firefighters find chair on fire, building being evacuated

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Most Read