rail

Two Oct. 2013 safety inspections by Transport Canada mention problems such as insufficient fasteners, a defective bridge approach and problems with bridge ties for the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway. (CBC)

The most recent rail inspection records for the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway describe a number of problems detailed as safety-related non-compliances.

The two Oct. 2013 inspections by Transport Canada mention problems such as vegetation growing on tracks or blocking a train's view of crossings, loose bolts, defective ties or insufficient fasteners. A defective bridge approach, problems with bridge ties and drainage problems caused by beaver dams were also noted.

The line has had two derailments this spring, one in West River Station and the other in New Glasgow.

Steve Newson, a policy advisor with Nova Scotia's transportation department, says a notice to close the line was not issued because none of the problems uncovered were considered a safety risk.

"By themselves, it's not unsafe," he said. "If you had a lot of them on the rail line, then you would consider it more of an unsafe condition. If there was anything that was an immediate threat to safety, you know, to the public or a train going off, then... a notice would have been issued to the railway immediately."

The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway reported back in November that corrective action had been taken, including training an employee to remove beaver dams.

The inspector described the railway's response as satisfactory and timely.