CN talks safety with municipalities

by MM&D Online staff

MONTREAL, QC—CN is reaching out to municipalities along its North American rail network to review its safety practices, share relevant information on dangerous goods traffic and discuss emergency response planning. CN’s outreach program will involve almost 1,100 communities in Canada and approximately 870 communities in the US.

The CN engagement program supplements the Canadian government’s November 2013 protective direction, which requires major railways to provide municipalities with yearly aggregate information, presented by quarter, on the nature and volume of dangerous goods the company transports through the communities.

The outreach builds on CN’s involvement in the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER), through which the company has been working for many years to help communities in Canada and the US understand the movement of hazardous materials and what is required in the event of transportation incidents. TRANSCAER members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as government.

“CN has an unwavering commitment to safety and always strives to deliver responsibly. In 2013, CN reduced its accident rate per million train miles by nine per cent, the latest sign of long-term gains in safety. In the past 10 years, CN’s main-track accidents have declined by approximately 50 per cent despite increased freight volumes,” said Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive of the railway.

CN claims a full 99.998 percent of CN and rail industry movements of dangerous goods arrive at their destination without a release caused by an accident.

CN is approaching municipal officials and their emergency responders to ensure they have contact information for appropriate CN officials as well as targeted information that will assist them in their emergency response planning. The railway will also conduct training sessions for emergency responders when requested.

“To date, we have reached out to the vast majority of communities on our network in Canada. In addition, we’ve held close to 100 meetings with communities in Canada, predominantly the larger ones, and will be reaching out to many more municipalities this year in both Canada and the US,” Mongeau added.