MP: Local politicians pan CP Rail's response to nighttime train upset
Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior, and Linda Worley, RDKB Area B Director, witnessed firsthand area residents’ dissatisfaction with CP’s response to their ongoing concerns with the recent addition of night trains on the local Castlegar to Trail run. In September, CP Rail implemented the decision to redeploy locomotives late at night for reasons of “increased efficiency”.
At a public meeting held in Trail on Nov. 21, Mike LoVecchio, Director of Government Affairs at CP, spoke to comments and questions around safety and late night noise from residents of Castlegar, Trail, Genelle, and Rivervale.
“Trains between Teck and Castlegar, carrying dangerous chemicals, have been tagged with a slow order of 10 mph due to the condition of the track,” noted Worley. “Residents showed photos of lines of rotten timbers, bowed rails with missing spikes and a bank above an aquifer that has sloughed so much that the track is only 15 feet from the edge. People are worried by having more trains, especially at night when their families are in bed,” added the RDKB Director.
“I am deeply disappointed that CP has failed to come forward with a solution for the community,” said Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff.
LoVecchio stated that CP Rail is unwilling to seek a compromise to the company’s right to run trains “24/7”. He disagreed that residents have been victimized by the abrupt change in CP’s local operating policy – a change made without prior community consultation or notification.
In an open letter to Hunter Harrison, Atamanenko called on the CEO of Canadian Pacific to recognize the impact of the schedule change on local residents and businesses.
“Without proper sleep individuals are more prone to accidents in the workplace. Those with existing health problems are seriously stressed by insufficient sleep,” wrote the NDP MP. “People have a right to peace of mind and a good night’s sleep,” he concluded.
Atamanenko urged Harrison to modify CP’s uncompromising position and work with the affected communities to find a mutually beneficial solution to the late night redeployment of locomotives.
For more information, please contact the office of Alex Atamanenko at 250.365.2792 or toll free 1.800.667.2393. Linda Worley can be reached at 250-231-1300.