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CN Reacts to TSB Report

Internal policies and procedures are safe and effective

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CN Rail officials are adamant that their internal policies and procedures are safe despite the findings of last week’s Transportation Safety Board report on the 2005 Cheakamus train derailment.

“We’re reviewing the report and owing to… current and potential legal action that may be launched against CN, we are limited in what we can say at this time,” said Tim Feeny, spokesperson for CN.

“However, we do observe that we had and we continue to have operating procedures and policies in place… for safe operation of the rail network.”

The TSB report on the 2005 derailment that dumped 40,000 litres of caustic soda in the Cheakamus River highlighted a number of concerns with CN’s operations. The TSB said improper training, faulty technology and incorrect assembly of the train were to blame for the derailment.

More than 500,000 fish were killed by the spill.

Feeny pointed out that any changes to external railway operation policies and procedures would have to be made by Transport Canada.

Calls to the federal Minister of Transport’s office were not returned in time for publication. However, Kirsten Goodnough, spokesperson for Transport Canada, pointed out the Railway Safety Act has been undergoing review by an independent panel since December 2006, in hopes of improving safety and modernizing railway operations.

Feeny said CN will continue its work with local stakeholders to help rebuild fish populations in the area.

“We’re encouraged by what we’ve seen so far in terms of how fish populations have rebounded, but we are aware that this is a long-term project and that we will be there for the long-term,” said Feeny.

Squamish Nation filed suit against CN almost one month ago, but as the two-year statute of limitations for filing suits approaches, Feeny said he is unaware of any other legal action being taken against the company.

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