Gogama derailment: Fix tracks or slow trains down, union says
Teamsters union hopes investigation reports will shift the focus away from the design of the oil tankers
As the investigation continues in Gogama to find out why 38 CN tanker cars carrying Alberta crude oil jumped the tracks on Saturday, the bypass built around the site now has trains moving slowly through the area again.
CN now confirms trace amounts of oil have been detected at the mouth of the Mattagami River, but it's not yet know exactly how much oil was spilled in total.
- Gogama train derailment highlights treaty infringement, chief says
- Fire extinguished, train cars pulled from river
- First Nation seeks independent environmental specialist
- Train derailments raise questions about CN operations
- Gogama derailment shows feds need to act on train safety
Among those hoping to find out what happened this weekend are the two CN workers who were on board that train.
There hasn’t been much news about the two workers who were on board the train that derailed roughly 200 kilometres north of Sudbury.
Feeny said counselling is made available to employees who go through a derailment or other traumatic event on the tracks.
Hoping for 'real change'
Doug Finnson, president of the Teamsters Rail Conference of Canada, which represents CN workers, said the crew likely saw a massive fireball behind them as the cars derailed.
“Especially when you're out in the middle of nowhere."
Finnson says his union is hoping real change to the rail industry comes from this latest fiery accident.
"These trains are likely too long, too heavy and going too fast for the track conditions in place."
But any change will likely come after the Transportation Safety Board is finished investigating — and that work has just begun.
The board is also investigating a very similar derailment of oil cars in the Gogama area last month.
Finnson said he hopes the investigation reports will shift the focus away from the design of the oil tankers.
"You have a tank car going 60 miles an hour and it derails. I don't care how thick the end of the tank car is, bad things are going to happen."
Finson said he believes stronger government oversight of rail companies is key to keeping Canadians safe — and railroads should either be forced to fix their tracks or slow down their trains.
According to a release from CN, further testing of air and water quality is underway.
A meeting will be held this afternoon for affected residents, and is closed to media.