• Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

  • Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).
Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

Moderator: MEC407

  by gokeefe
Gilbert B Norman wrote:The cars were properly placarded.

Should there be a separate HAZMAT classification for Bakken crude is a whole separate subject.
I thought there was a problem with the packing group but I know that got addressed early on.
  by JimBoylan
There have been allegations that the Packing Group should have been 2 instead of 3, to signify that the Oil could Flash at a lower temperature. I can't find anything that would have required a different Placard or Tank Car due to that change, only that anyone who read the number would have been warned that the Oil was more dangerous than some other Oils.
  by MEC407
Wow. I have to say I'm surprised bordering on shocked to read such a strongly-worded editorial from an industry trade journal.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Maine Central, even though the material linked by Mr. 9634 is not identified as such, I think it is Opinion.

I base that conclusion on that articles that are clearly news (the GO Transit in this case) do not have bylines. The noted "piece" regarding Megantic, is bylined by a writer identified as a Contributing Editor.

I think RA could do a better job adhering to a basic tenet of journalism that Opinion is clearly identified as such.
  by MEC407
Even still, as an opinion piece, it seems surprisingly pointed, compared to the editorials I'm accustomed to seeing in these types of publications.

I think the writer made many excellent points, mind you. My surprise was of the pleasant variety. I think he said a lot of things that needed to be said. I just wonder how much flak he'll get from API, TC, TSB, et al.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Railway Age, with their free Web content, has evolved from a "see no evil hear no evil" house organ to a publication providing fair and balanced content of railroad industry affairs.

TRAINS, on the other hand, has evolved from a hobbyist (railfan) and traveler magazine to a publication providing fair and balanced content of railroad industry affairs.

The "twain hath met"; and reporting of industry affairs is the better for such.

Between Kalmbach, White River, and others, there are enough segmented publications to cover the readers who may feel that TRAINS has left the station without them. For those who still have the ostensible need for a house organ publication, Progressive Railroading is still around.

Finally, I wholly concur with Mr. MEC's thoughts on the noted RA piece.
  by Ken V
A lawyer for the driver of the train that crashed in Lac-Mégantic in 2013 is no longer seeking a stay of proceedings in his client’s criminal case.

Thomas Walsh says Tom Harding wants to prove his innocence.
Full story: http://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/ ... ain-driver" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Zeke, here is the latest report I could find:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... le36442193" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
..Ten men and six women were selected among 300 candidates on Friday to sit as jurors in the trial of three men charged in the 2013 Lac-Megantic train derailment.

The 14 jurors will hear the evidence but only 12 will be selected at random to deliberate over the fate of three former railway employees: train driver Thomas Harding, traffic controller Richard Labrie and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre.

All three have pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing death
Where is Eddie Burkhardt? Where SHOULD he be?
  by Zeke
I agree Gilbert although I can see the top MMA officials embroiled in legal problems for years to come. The fish rots from the head. I also believe the three defendants on trial will most likely be handed a guilty verdict. Public opinion and emotions still run high in this matter and to be frank it should never have happened.
  by MEC407
From CBC:
CBC wrote:A former locomotive engineer for the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) who regularly ran trains between Farnham and Lac-Mégantic, Que., said he was not allowed to refuse to operate a train, even when he knew it was over the maximum allowed weight.
. . .
Daigle, one of three MMA engineers who operated trains along the Farnham–to–Mégantic route, told the court it was common practice for the company's top management to play loose with established railway regulations.

Referring to a regulation manual and documents which listed the contents and weight of the 73-car train that derailed on July 6, 2013, Daigle confirmed the maximum weight allowed for an MMA train during the period from April 1, 2013 to Nov. 30 was 6300 tonnes — not counting locomotives.

The train involved in the tragedy weighed 9100 tonnes.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/mont ... -1.4367611" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Gilbert B Norman
Linked within the material submitted by Mr. MEC, is an article suggesting that owing to the absence of a treaty, Eddie and his gang can stay out of reach from the Canadian judiciary:

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/mont ... -1.4342107" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
The provincial police sergeant in charge of the investigation into the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster said he made at least four trips to the U.S. to meet dozens of employees of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA), to find out about the culture of the company.

Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Mathieu Bouchard, the seventh Crown witness to testify at the trial, told Superior Court Justice Gaétan Dumas and jurors that the goal of the investigation was to find the truth behind the circumstances that led to the July 2013 derailment and explosions.

Bouchard said he had to obtain a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) to conduct a police investigation in the U.S., under supervision, and to access certain documents.

"We gave the FBI and a U.S. attorney a list of witnesses who we wanted to meet, and they took the steps necessary for us to meet them," he said. "It's a process which allows me to act as a police officer and use the evidence gathered in Canada."

Bouchard said the MMA's top executives, including the supervisors of the three accused, only agreed to meet him after the treaty legally forced them to do so.

"Some witnesses didn't want to meet with us at the outset. They asked to consult their lawyers," he said, "and for the remainder of conversations with them we [had to] go through their counsel
  by MEC407
Today's update from CBC:
CBC wrote:Daigle said he reported a problem with the 5017, the lead locomotive of the train that later derailed, hours before it left for Lac-Mégantic.

But when his supervisor did nothing, he didn't tell anyone else about the problem.
. . .
Daigle told the court there were problems with all the MMA locomotives regularly, but nothing was ever done about it.

He said he sat on the company's health and safety committee, made up of employees from Quebec and supervisors from the U.S., but he acknowledged he never brought up the issues with locomotives.

The employee who inspected the locomotive the morning before the derailment succeeded Daigle in the witness box.

Yves Gendreau, 42, is a former rolling stock inspector at MMA, and the 13th Crown witness to testify at the trial.

Gendreau testified he inspected locomotive 5017 on July 5, 2013.

"What did you notice about the locomotive that morning during the inspection," asked prosecutor Marie-Éve Phaneuf."

"There was nothing specific to repair on these locomotives, everything seemed okay," he said.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ ... -1.4370066" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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