Work begins on new train tracks after Lac-Megantic derailment disaster
Published Monday, October 21, 2013 10:22PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 21, 2013 11:52PM EDT
More than three months after a deadly train derailment devastated Lac-Megantic, Que., work has begun to rebuild the train tracks vital to the local economy.
Workers have started laying the tracks that will reconnect the town’s industrial park to the railway. Some residents are welcoming the rebuilding efforts, but others say they fear another derailment in the future.
“Everybody is worried,” said Roland Paradis, who lost friends and his apartment in the explosions caused by the July 6 derailment.
Half of Lac-Megantic’s downtown core was destroyed and 47 people were killed when a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed, sending fireballs into the sky.
Since then, the town has been on a slow road to recovery and area businesses say rebuilding the train tracks will help them get back on their feet.
Those companies include Tafisa, which produces particleboard and melamine panels for furniture and interior design. It’s the biggest employer in Lac-Megantic.
The company has turned to using trucks for its weekly shipments, at a higher cost.
“It will be an emotional moment the first time a locomotive goes through here,” CEO Louis Brassard told CTV News.
The new rail line hasn’t been finalized and likely won’t cut through the heart of town.
Transport Canada has shut down a section of the rail line owned by the same company responsible for the runaway train -- Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway. It’s not clear when the work on that stretch of the railroad will be done.
Meanwhile, local authorities have drafted a plan to turn the site of the explosions into a memorial park and build a new downtown further south.
With a report from CTV’s Montreal Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin