'Things aren't going to change:' voices from the Gogama oil spill
Some say the Transportation Safety Board's recommendations are 'another TSB report that does nothing'
A rail consultant who used to work for the Transportation Safety Board is surprised that recommendations stemming from the 2015 Gogama train derailment target the federal government and not the railroad.
Ian Naish says he understands why some in the small northern Ontario town have lost confidence in the rail system.
"If I lived in Gogama I guess I'd make sure I'm a fair distance from the track," Naish said.
"I'd hate to be living right next to it."
The small northern town of Gogama was forever changed March 7, 2015 when a fiery train derailment caused millions of litres of crude oil to spill.
The Transportation Safety Board released their report on Friday, putting the blame on an improperly trained track inspector.
"Sounds like there's a systemic problem there with the railways and that's a scenario where I think the TSB could have made a recommendation if they dug into it a bit deeper," said Naish.
- Rail lines in poor condition caused March 2015 Gogama derailment: TSB
- Transportation Safety Board says unnoticed cracks in rail caused 2015 Gogama, Ont. train derailment
But the people affected the most say they don't expect much to change.
Gogama fire chief Mike Benson, one of the first responders to the fire left behind by the derailment, has been the face of the oil spill and the clean-up that CN declared complete at one point.
"If Transport Canada doesn't pick up the ball and change their regulations, or CN — out of the goodness of their heart — doesn't operate differently, things aren't going to change," Benson said.
Unions losing faith in the system?
Doug Finnson, president of the Teamsters union for CN's freight train drivers, said he's shocked that the board would not call for more rigid training standards for track inspectors.
"The first thing that comes to the railroader's mind is 'so, what's changed?'" Finnson said.
"They shake their heads and say 'There they go. Another TSB report that does nothing.'"