Vandalism on the tracks: CN asks for M.D. help

Councillor says CN could do more as well

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

CN Rail has asked the M.D. of Lesser Slave River to help spread the word to M.D. residents about safety issues – specifically with regard to recent incidents of items being put on the rails in Slave Lake and Canyon Creek.

Photos provided by CN show rocks (a lot of rocks) lined up on the rails; also chunks of wood and in one case, a rail spike. The report, presented by new M.D. manager of special projects John McDermott at council’s June 22 meeting, said pieces of concrete and reinforcing bar had also been found on the rails. It amounts to vandalism, he said.

“We could have a catastrophic failure,” McDermott added, referring to a derailment of cars containing hazardous materials, for example.

CN isn’t asking the M.D. for a lot. Mainly that links to a couple of CN websites be posted by the M.D.
Council was more than willing to make that happen, but at least one councillor thinks CN could be doing more from its side. Councillor Brad Pearson spoke about all the debris (He referred to it as ‘shrapnel’) left over from CN construction or maintenance projects. It’s just left lying around, he said.

“I’m not saying if they took it all away this won’t happen, but there’d be less ammunition.”

Same goes for the defunct telegraph lines running in the CN right of way, said councillor Nancy Sand. People in Smith have been pestering CN for years to clean it up, with no results, Finally, some local people decided to do something about it themselves.

“There’s miles of that stuff,” she said.

On the other hand, CAO Barry Kolenosky said he’d gotten a good response from CN when it came to cleaning up some leftover stuff near the complex in Widewater.

“Should we ask CN to come to a council meeting?” said reeve Kerik.

Councillor Sandra Melzer thought so, and made a motion to that effect, which was carried.

In the meantime, the M.D. will do what it can to encourage residents to leave well enough alone when it comes to the railway tracks.

This sort of thing has been discovered lately, both in Canyon Creek and in Slave Lake, and CN Rail is quite concerned about it.
Photo from the M.D. of Lesser Slave River’s council agenda, supplied by CN

Share this post

Post Comment