CN Rail puts 'high priority' on maintenance, says union
2 trains have derailed in N.B. in the past month
CN Rail places a high priority on maintenance, says the union representing track workers at the company.
In the past month, two CN trains have derailed in New Brunswick, raising questions about how the company is caring for its tracks.
In the first derailment, several train cars carrying propane and crude oil caught fire after derailing near Plaster Rock, N.B., on Jan. 7.
I don't see them consciously not repairing or maintaining their tracks.- Mike Piche, United Steelworkers Union
The second derailment occurred Jan. 26 in Saint-Basile, part of the city of Edmunston in the northwestern area of the province.
Paul Emile Soucy said he told CN workers who inspect the railway track across from his Saint-Basile farm that the railroad needed repairs.
Last summer they put red paint on wooden ties to be replaced, but the problem is the next step, he said.
"They don't fix it, and they knew about it. So somebody out there making too much money decided not to fix it. And they left it there," said Soucy.
While there are differences between the union and the company on priority, CN does a good job on track maintenance, said Mike Piche, the servicing representative for the United Steelworkers local representing CN track maintenance workers.
"I do believe CN does consider it a high priority," he said. "I don't see them consciously not repairing or maintaining their tracks."
It is not unusual for track inspectors to identify rail ties ahead of time that will need changing six or eight months later, said Piche.
The line through Saint-Basile is inspected at least twice a week and had been inspected two days before the crash, said CN.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.