Farmer warned CN repairs were needed at site of derailment
Paul-Emile Soucy says he reported poor condition of rail crossing that runs through his potato field
Farmer Paul-Emile Soucy, who lives near the site of Sunday's derailment in Sainte-Basile, says the crossing through his potato field has needed repairs for months.
They do the inspection you know, but what they don't tell you is the inspection is done but they don't do nothing about it when it's done.- Paul-Emile Soucy, Sainte-Basile farmer
Soucy says he told CN workers about it last summer when they were marking other rotten ties along the railroad through the area that needed to be replaced, and a CN worker told him his crossing would eventually be fixed.
"He said...once we fix the ties sometime this summer or fall, we'll put you a new crossing but nothing was done and you can still see — I mean the ties are there and nobody talks about it but that's the problem."
On Sunday at approximately 10:30 p.m. five freight cars at the end of a train jumped the tracks. Three of them were carrying automobiles, one was carrying clay and the fifth car was carrying flammable liquefied petroleum gas.
Soucy says this isn't the first time a train has derailed on his property.
"The same place about 15 or 20 years ago but the media were not that keen or informed back then."
Soucy says in that incident, fuel cars were upside down in the brook but it was cleaned up and neither the derailment nor the spill attracted much attention at the time.
"Since Lac Megantic and the Plaster Rock incident a couple weeks ago and then this one there's going to be some more. They don't fix the track there that's the problem."
"They do the inspection you know, but what they don't tell you is the inspection is done but they don't do nothing about it when it's done," said Soucy.
Mayor of Edmundston concerned about increased rail traffic
Meanwhile, Simard wonders whether two derailments in northwestern New Brunswick within three weeks is more than a coincidence.
"I mean we had ice, we had very cold conditions recently in the region and this could affect the rail," he said.
"You start to ask yourself some questions about thefact that there's more and more trains that come in and out on those rails every day with petroleum and other kinds of stuff and even though we're aware of that we're asking questions — is this taken care of properly."
Simard plans to put his questions about safety to CN when he meets with the company and emergency workers in early February.
He hopes to also discuss training opportunities for local first responders.