Pictou County train derailment evacuee claims rip off
6 tanker cars carrying butane and propane derailed in West River Station in June
A woman who was forced from her home after a train derailment in West River Station, N.S., this summer says the railway company tried to charge her for cutting her lawn.
When six tanker cars carrying butane and propane derailed back in June, six homes were evacuated, including Gail Sinclair’s.
"It really got in my craw, I'll tell you,” she said.
The residents were all put up at the Travelodge in New Glasgow for a week. The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway paid for meals and taxis.
In total the company says it paid out more than $1,400 to Gail Sinclair and her son.
Sinclair wrote the rail line to try to claim an additional $330 in incurred expenses, but was turned down. That's when the rail line told her she owed it $59 dollars for cutting her lawn, a fee it says it's willing to forgive.
"I didn't ask for a hotel, I didn't ask anybody to mow my lawn. These were supposed to be goodwill things. And the reason I was in a hotel is because your train went off the track. Not my train,” Sinclair said.
In a letter to Sinclair the rail line says: "CBNS reimbursed and paid for the evacuees' reasonably related and foreseeable expenses, including hotel costs, meals and taxis… CBNS has provided further accommodations to the evacuees as a goodwill gesture, including providing lawn mowing services."
It’s infuriating for Sinclair.
"It's just sticking in my craw...I want to be reimbursed for the expenses I incurred and do not send me a letter that I owe you $59 because you put me out of my home,” she said.
The derailment site has been tidied up and the damaged track has been replaced, but Sinclair wonders when the remaining wreckage is going to be hauled away.
"I mean if I made a mess up there, I'm sure they'd be calling the Department of Environment so you can certainly come and clean it up,” she said.
Sinclair says she's given up quibbling over a couple hundred dollars.
Her house is for sale and she just wants to move on.