Railway News – Alghabra of Canada orders CN and CP to take fire safety measures. For railway professionals

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Federal laws and regulations

12/7/2021

Railway News: Federal Laws and Regulations




Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has ordered that CN and Canadian Pacific cannot operate trains in certain subdivisions of British Columbia where the fire danger level is “extreme.”

The order, which is in effect until October 31, affects rail operations between Kamloops and Boston Bar or between Kamloops and North Bend in the Thompson and Ashcroft subdivisions.

Alghabra issued the order in response to an unprecedented wildfire that displaced hundreds of people in Lytton, British Columbia, the Lytton First Nation and surrounding areas. Extreme weather conditions and the risk of forest fires continue to pose a serious danger in British Columbia, as well as other parts of Canada, Transport Canada officials said in a press release.

According to the order, CN and CP must:
• integrate the deployment of a fire extinguishing capability into their operations which will ensure a 60-minute response time to any fire detected along the subdivision right-of-way in order to take measures to extinguish or control the fire reported, or to notify the fire department responsible for the area if the fire cannot be brought under control without assistance;
• require the conductor of any train to be responsible for locating fires and reporting any fires or smoldering areas along subdivisions to rail traffic control for fire service response;
• ensure that all vegetation control measures are followed by the removal of combustible materials; and
• ensure that at least 10 fire detection patrols are carried out on the subdivisions every 24 hours, unless a train has not been running on the subdivision concerned for a period of at least three hours.

Additionally, Class I should consult with Indigenous governments or other Indigenous governing bodies located along subdivisions to incorporate Indigenous Knowledge considerations related to the presence of fire hazards, fire hazards and fire control. in the preparation of the fire risk reduction plans and the Fire preparedness plans required under the Regulation respecting the prevention and control of fires on the lines of conduct.

“Unprecedented weather conditions in British Columbia continue to pose a serious threat to public safety and rail operations,” said Alghabra. “The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting those affected by the devastating forest fires in British Columbia and will not hesitate to take the necessary safety measures to mitigate these risks to public safety and the integrity of the railways and infrastructure.


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Susan W. Lloyd

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