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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for May 31st, 2008

CP Spirit of 150 Rail Tour – Schedule of Events

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CPR Empress on display at Railway Days in Kamloops
CP photo

From June 12 to July 6, the CP Spirit of 150 Rail Tour will visit 33 communities in the Kootenays, the Rockies, the Shuswap, Kamloops, the Fraser Canyon and Vancouver as part of the year-long BC150 celebration.

The CP Spirit of 150 Rail Tour is co-sponsored by Canadian Pacific, which is operating, staffing and maintaining the train. The train includes the vintage Empress 2816 steam locomotive and support cars, two vintage passenger coaches, a vintage business car, a heritage baggage car converted into a travelling museum and a vintage stage car.

The museum car features a selection of artifacts from the “Stories of you, me and BC,” a major exhibition at the Royal British Columbia Museum.

The stage car features the sound of British Columbia, with a live band and stage show by The Motherlode. Visitors can enjoy and interact with costumed performers depicting some of B.C.’s most entertaining and notorious historical figures.

June 26
Mission: West Coast Express Station, 33200 N. Railway Avenue (Between Home and Welton Street) 12:45 to 3:45 p.m.
Abbotsford: Gladys Avenue (extension of Highway #11) and George Ferguson Way/W. Railway Street. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

June 27
Maple Ridge: North Mainline Track (Across from the Billy Minor Pub, 22355 River Road) 9:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Pitt Meadows: West Coast Express Station, 12258 Harris Road. 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

June 29

Port Moody: West Coast Express Station (West end parking lot, corner of Moody and Spring Street) 12 to 4 p.m.

June 30

Langley: Production Way, between 200th Street and Fraser Highway 2 to 4 p.m.

July 1 – Canada Day

Surrey: Cloverdale Village Square, Highway #10 (56th Avenue) and 176A Street (Rear Parking Lot) 10 to 4 p.m.

July 4

New Westminster: Advance Parking Lot, east of Westminster Quay, corner of Begbie and Front Street. 10 to 2 p.m.

July 5

West Vancouver: Ambleside Park, Marine Drive and 13th Street 10 to 2 p.m.

July 6

Vancouver: Rocky Mountaineer Station, 1755 Cottrell Street. 10 to 2 p.m.

for places outside the Vancouver region see the CP web page

Written by Stephen Rees

May 31, 2008 at 11:00 am

Posted in Transportation

Railway Standards not being met

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Vancouver Sun

A ‘culture of fear’ at Canadian National Railway is making it difficult for employees to report safety violations that raise the risk of derailments and other accidents, a federal parliamentary committee says in a new report to the House of Commons.

The report confirms what has been fairly common knowledge among those interested in railways for a while now. Certainly after the Cheakamus River incident, many were pointing to the way that CN had got rid of all the experienced people who understood the reasons for BC Rail’s more cautious attitude to operation over this line.

CN has been extremely successful as a privatized railway, shedding its branch lines all over Canada but taking over other railways in the US to become one of North America’s most profitable systems. But in concentrating on the bottom line both basic safety and the environment have suffered. The locomotive fleet includes engines built in the 1950s, which are left running all day as they are so hard to restart if stopped. CN has not been one of the leaders in buying new , more efficient and less polluting switchers, although with fuel costs increasing they may have to change that.

The climate of fear is a cultural thing, that lower and middle management pick up from the gung ho style of the top managers. It will take a while to get that to change, and the first step is accepting responsibility. It also means treating employees as partners and not adversaries, which means that unions need to adapt too.

CN 1419 and 7067

A pair of ancient road switchers left idling in the sun in Richmond this week

UPDATE June 5

From the CBC :12,000 wheel sets on trains a derailment threat: TSB

Roughly 12,000 rail car wheel sets used by Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway “have a high susceptibility to loosen” and should be replaced, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said Thursday.

The 36-inch wheel sets were among 43,000 produced at the CN Transcona shop in Winnipeg. Most of the sets, manufactured between April 1998 and February 2001, have already been removed from service, but roughly 12,000 are still being used.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 31, 2008 at 9:34 am

Posted in Transportation