As the rail industry continues to evolve, the BR&CF
is looking forward to the future and serving our members.
CTY LTD Update
The purpose of this Information Bulletin is to bring everyone up to date
on what has happened since the CTY LTD Ratification.
Railroad workers have been fighting fatigue in the
rail industry for decades but the problem persists. We are now asking
you to help us document the problem.
April 28 - Day of Mourning
Source: TCRC National Office
Published: April 28th 2007
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Dear Sisters and Brothers,
April 28, 2007 will mark the 23rd anniversary of the National
Day of Mourning in commemorating those killed or hurt by
workplace injuries or disease.
I think that we have all been touched in one way or another by
the tragedies that have occurred in the work place, the lives
that are lost and thousands that are injured. There is terrible
toll on families and friends and for them, life will never be
Most recently, Union Brother Lonnie Plasko lost his life while
attempting to stop his train on one of the steepest grades in
North America in order to prevent an even bigger accident. Our
hearts go out Brother Lonnie's family and friends and all those
who have been touched by tragedy in the workplace. It is a sad
reminder that in a split second, our lives can be changed
Please join with us on April 28, 2007 in remembering those
killed or hurt by workplace injuries or disease and to resolve
to make every workplace a safer place for everyone.
Sincerely and In Solidarity,
RAIL SAFETY WEEK
Mishaps spark fears for rail workers, public
Union says bigger, longer trains are to blame for rash of
VANCOUVER -- Rail Safety Week this week saw Canada's two main
railways clean up after derailments including a crash that
claimed the life of an engineer who stayed with his runaway
That accident and others have led to a call to beef up the
country's Railway Safety Act to protect rail workers, the public
and communities that are most vulnerable to rail accidents.
CP Rail engineer Lonnie Plasko has been called a hero for trying
to control a speeding train barrelling into the B.C. Interior
community of Trail on Monday. Two of his co-workers jumped to
safety. A day later, Mr. Plasko's body was dug out from the
On the same day, CN Rail was cleaning up a derailment in central
Alberta near the community of Alix. Eight cars left the track
and three locomotives tipped onto their sides, forcing the crew
members, all of them slightly injured, to climb out a window.
The most recent completed Transportation Safety Board statistics
show a 10 per cent increase in total rail accidents in Canada
from 2004 to 2005.
And compared to 2000-2004, the number of accidents went up by 18
per cent in 2005.
Dan Shewchuck, president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference,
believes that some of the accidents can be blamed on longer,
Mr. Shewchuck, who represents CN Rail engineers and engineers,
conductors and yardmen for CP Rail, said the workers believe the
ponderous trains have set off derailments in the past.
"[There are] serious concerns from our members in regards to how
they're able to handle that train at high speeds . . . It makes
the job a lot more difficult."
He said in the past few years trains have grown in length from
1,800 metres to about 5,100 metres -- or about five kilometres
-- and move up to 100 kilometres an hour.
"We seem to be having the situations develop over and over
again. And something has to be done."
Liberal MP Don Bell agrees.
He's the vice-chairman of the transport committee that has been
holding hearings on the safety of the rail industry in Canada.
"We need to have accountability, they need to have the incentive
. . . of fairly severe penalties because you're dealing with
people's lives, you're dealing with workers' lives, you're
dealing with potentially the safety of the public," Mr. Bell
said in a telephone interview from Ottawa.
He believes the Railway Safety Act needs more teeth to force
rail companies to comply, noting that the Aeronautics Act gives
safety regulators a lot more power to act.
In February, the federal government announced its first review
into the Railway Safety Act since 1994 and the report is
expected this year.
Via resumes service after CN derailment
Last Updated: Sunday, April 29, 2007 | 9:15 AM ET
Passenger train service has resumed on Via Rail's busy
Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor, a day after it was halted by a
train derailment near Cobourg, Ont.
Via was able to get trains moving on the route Sunday morning,
starting with one departing Ottawa at 8:35 a.m. ET for Toronto.
The track in both directions was closed after 23 cars of a
130-car CN freight train derailed late Saturday morning.
Via offered affected ticket-holders bus trips or refunds.
Canadian National said there were no injuries and no hazardous
materials was involved in the derailment, which the
Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
A parallel Canadian Pacific Railway track was forced to shut
down briefly because of the incident.
The interruption in Via Rail service comes just a week after a
protest by an aboriginal group closed the same line, blocking
trains for more than a day.