Slave Lake residents packed the town council chamber Tuesday night to hear a presentation on rail safety from CN Rail representatives.
Two trains go through the town each day which, in total, transport 56,000 cars full of dangerous goods annually.
Recent derailments in Gainford and Peers have residents worrying trains could go off the tracks in Slave Lake.
“My family, my friends’ and my community’s lives are at stake,” said Darrel Loyie, who lives a couple of blocks from the tracks. “I bet none of those people from CN live near a railroad track.”
Using a presentation CN brings to municipalities across the country, company representatives assured council that rail is the safest way to move dangerous goods.
Many people in Slave Lake are worried about a rail bridge that burned in an arson years ago but CN says that it undergoes an annual inspection.
An engineer told council that while the bridge isn’t in perfect condition, there is enough timber left and the structure is sound. The bridge is scheduled for repairs next year.
“The public has every right to expect rail safety and for CN our focus on safety is unwavering,” CN spokesman Warren Chandler told CBC News. “It always has been and will continue to be.”
Mayor Tyler Warman said the discussions in Slave Lake are overdue.
“I think for our council, it’s bigger than that,” Warman said. “It’s looking at the safety of our community, of our residents”