Toronto residents don't know how many trains carry dangerous goods

Number of trains carrying dangerous goods through the city kept secret

Since the Lac Megantic train disaster, a lot of questions have been asked about rail safety in this country.

In particular the amount of dangerous goods hauled by rail through our cities and towns.

If you look at a CN Rail map of Toronto it looks like strands of spaghetti winding through the city. Many kilometres of track through neighbourhoods.

CN moves a lot of freight along those tracks and some of the goods are dangerous. Oil, chemicals, you name it.

But just try to find out how many dangerous products move through this city and you'll get stonewalled.
CN Rail says the information is confidential and yet in the wake of the Lac Megantic rail disaster in Quebec it has begun sharing the information with municipal authorities.

Earlier this week the Fire Chief in Hamilton publicly revealed that out of every 1-hundred CN railcars that passed through his city last year, 7 of those railcars carried dangerous goods.

What about Toronto?

The fire chief here knows and so does CN Rail but the Star is reporting Friday morning that neither will discuss the Toronto situation.

CN says it provided the data to senior officials of the Toronto Fire Service and the director of the Office of Emergency Management on December 12th.

Here's what we do know: there are about 40 freight trains and passenger trains travelling the Toronto-Montreal corridor every day of the week.

The average CN Freight train is 12-thousand feet long.

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  1. leslie posted on 03/14/2014 11:47 AM
    Or shaky little democracy needs new laws to grantee transparency. Let's not kid orselves. We do not have a democracy nless we have transparency - on safety, spending, jdicial and political appointments, revealing decided case law, knowing what the police are doing, having a handle on wiretaps and internet snooping, etc.
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