TRURO – A closer look at rail safety has been a topic of concern for Truro’s mayor and first responders.
Railway safety in small communities, such as Truro, is being discussed on a regular basis with Transport Canada, CN Rail, municipalities and first responders. Monique Chiasson – Truro Daily News
Bill Mills recently attended an Atlantic mayors congress in Sydney and one of the topics discussed that piqued his interest was railway safety, especially in small communities.
Mills said it’s important for all citizens to be aware of how to handle any potential rail-related disasters in addition to first responders.
“We need to be prepared and don’t take it for granted. We have to be aware … not to scare people but to be informed,” said Mills.
For example, he said, if there was ever a train derailment in the town, there are certain things residents near the scene should and shouldn’t do.
“If a citizen is first on the scene, don’t go rushing in, especially if you see vapours … they should call 1-800-465-9239 to report” the incident, Mills said.
Refreshing proper protocol is another aspect of railway safety communication that is ongoing, such as a gathering that was held in Enfield this week. The event was a refresher as well as a continued learning opportunity that was offered to emergency personnel.
Mills said with at least a dozen railway crossings between Millbrook and Lower Onslow, there’s always a chance a major disaster could affect this area.
“CN has a good track record … (but) it has no illusions … accidents do happen but fortunately it hasn’t been an issue here,” said Mills, adding if specialized container carriers from Halifax come to Truro in the future “that will increase the length and number of trains to Truro and the amount of products.”
Jim Feeny, director of public affairs with CN, out of Toronto, told this paper CN “due to security reasons” CN won’t disclose to residents what potentially dangerous goods are travelling through their areas, however, first responders are aware.
Feeny confirmed more “people all across the country are thinking more about (rail safety) and mayors are getting questions across the country.”
Mills said he’d like to bring CN Rail representatives to Truro to further discuss rail safety with the community.