VIA Rail cover-up halts investigation

by Jack Locke

I don’t know how I am going to tell Dylan Ford’s mother.

Dylan was one of three boys killed by a VIA Rail train on Oct. 31, 2010 in Montreal.

My 12-part investigation has looked into many aspects of rail safety. I’ve spoken to a person who was aboard that fateful train. I’ve been in touch with a young man  who was inches from being killed himself. And I have been in regular communication with Jamie, Dylan’s mother.

Now, I must tell Jamie that I cannot answer why her son was killed because VIA Rail, a federal crown corporation, subject to the Access to Information Act, will not disclose information that is in their possession.

In the email below is VIA’s explanation. I am truly sorry Jamie and Dylan, Mitch and Ricardo.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
from Elizabeth_Huart@viarail.ca
to “Jack J. Locke” <jjlocke1957@gmail.com>
date Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 5:08 PM
subject Re: Please advise: VIA’s intentions

Dear Mr. Locke:

There is no doubt that the accident that took place on October 31 is extremely tragic and has affected many people, including the families and friends of the three young men who lost their lives.

Safety is of the utmost importance at VIA Rail which is why following any accident, all aspects are thoroughly investigated. The investigation following this incident allowed us to conclude that all train equipment and track warning systems were functioning properly, and that all rules and regulations were respected. No irregularities were found.

VIA offers its full cooperation to all other authorities that are involved in investigations of this type. These authorities include Transport Canada, the coroner, the local police, the owner of the property and VIA Rail.

It is not our policy to publicly release the kind of detailed information you requested. That being said, I trust you will find these explanations helpful and reassuring.

Sincerely,

***************************************************************
Elizabeth Huart, M. Adm
Conseillère, Relations avec les médias et les collectivités
Advisor, Media and Community Relations
VIA Rail Canada
3, Place Ville Marie, suite 500
Montréal, Québec H3B 2C9
Tel.: 514-871-6119
elizabeth_huart@viarail.ca
http://www.viarail.ca

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4 Responses to “VIA Rail cover-up halts investigation”

  1. VIA Train Tragedy: a case in ineptitude | Lockeblog Says:

    […] did VIA Rail refuse my request for information on January 14, […]

  2. publicpoetry Says:

    Reblogged this on Lockeblog and commented:

    I am reposting my series on The Turcot Train Tragedy as it approaches the second anniversary of that horrible event. Alas, with no government accountability. Installment 11.

  3. Investigation: Initial summary findings « Lockeblog Says:

    […] Lockeblog © Jack Locke 2010. All rights reserved. « VIA Rail cover-up halts investigation […]

  4. dreamlistener Says:

    “The investigation following this incident allowed us to conclude that all train equipment and track warning systems were functioning properly, and that all rules and regulations were respected. No irregularities were found.”

    Isn’t it an “irregularity” for a train engineer to plow down three people? Isn’t it an “irregularity” for a train engineer to not see three young men on the tracks in front of him/her? Isn’t it an “irregularity ” if the engineer did see the three young men on the tracks in front of his or her train to not sound the horn?

    One has to wonder, was the train going too fast for an inner city location? Were the headlights on the train not functioning properly? Did the horn not work? Was the engineer not paying attention to the tracks in front of him/her?

    If instead of the death of three young men it had been the death of three CN workers, would this then be considered an “irregularity”?

    If this is standard practice, and no irregularities were found, then people, we got a problem.

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