CP Rail’s Mike LoVecchio, director of government affairs, addresses Salmon Arm council on Feb. 25 regarding a number of topics including dangerous goods. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Dangerous goods make up three per cent of rail traffic

Ammonia, jet fuel, chlorine, coal and crude oil among goods transported through communities

Even if it wanted to, CP Rail could not stop shipping dangerous goods through communities like Salmon Arm.

Mike LoVecchio, CP’s director of government affairs, spoke to Salmon Arm council Monday, explaining the railway is required by law in Canada and the U.S. to move all manner of goods.

He also emphasized what an excellent safety record CP Rail has and how it’s well prepared for emergencies.

“We are the industry leader when it comes to safety.”

Ammonia, jet fuel, chlorine and crude oil are some of the dangerous goods carried, but such goods make up only three per cent of the railway’s North American traffic.

“You see tank cars coming through town every day,” he pointed out, but generally they’re not carrying a dangerous good. The railway moves a lot of canola oil, for instance.

Read more: Dangerous goods travel by rail daily

A quarterly list of every dangerous good transported through a community is given to the fire department, to be kept confidential. Adding to the railway’s ability to track cars is an app.

“We know where the car is, if it’s loaded or not and what it’s carrying.”

The app can provide a view of the close vicinity.

“It gives first responders knowledge of what’s immediately next to the… car.”

Read more: CP Rail identifies all 3 train derailment victims

Although the Salmon Arm Fire Department doesn’t yet have access to the technology, LoVecchio said it will be supplied.

And all such information is kept confidential, only accessible to the railway and first responders.

“In the world we live in, we do not want a bulls-eye on our train.”

LoVechio said emergency response training will be held in Salmon Arm with the fire department on March 30 and 31.

Read more: Alberta’s oil-by-rail plan a worry for Shuswap mayor

Coun. Debbie Cannon asked how many trains go through Salmon Arm.

“A safe number would be 30 trains in both directions in 24 hours,” LoVecchio said. “Roughly 15 each way.”

A few factors can increase that, he said, such as harvest in the prairies.

“And the run up to the Christmas period when inter-modal is very strong.”

He said the railway doesn’t expect to increase the number of trains, as it can accommodate spikes in goods by increasing their length. He said there are no physical limitations to the length of trains, except the sidings allowing two trains to pass in opposite directions must be long enough to accommodate the length.

Most trains are 7,500 to 8,000 feet in length, with plans to push that to 10,000. In Salmon Arm, the siding is slightly over 10,000 feet.

LoVecchio touted use of the railway.

“One freight train equals approximately 280 trucks off our publicly funded roadways. In a city like Salmon Arm, dissected by the highway, 280 trucks has real meaning.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: ‘Stubborn’ fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

The building which lit up in flames around 2 a.m. was an infamous spot to Big White locals

Warriors looking for Teddy, hoping for win

West Kelowna hosts their annual Teddy Bear Toss fundraiser Saturday night

Price for one-bedroom rentals in Kelowna jumped 10.8% from October to November

Out of 34 Canadian cities, report said Kelowna had highest monthly rent increase

Rockets drop second straight, conclude 6-game road trip Saturday in Moose Jaw

Kelowna fell short against the Regina Pats 4-3 Friday night

Province covers medical costs for Kelowna boy with spinal muscular atrophy

Spinal taps for Rumi Green’s spinal muscular atrophy treatment cost $120,000 each

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Conservation officers on the hunt for North Okanagan moose poachers

Officers execute search warrant Friday morning, investigation continues

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopens after vehicle incident near Boston Bar

Initial reports of a jack-knifed semi truck had closed both directions of the highway

Kootnekoff: Accommodating religious celebrations

Employers must be mindful that not everyone celebrates holidays which are days off

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read