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Didsbury council calls for action on railway ties

Concerns expressed over chemical hazard and public safety
web didsbury council
Didsbury mayor Rhonda Hunter says the large piles of used railway ties stacked up along the CPR tracks are unsightly and a safety issue. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY — Large piles of used railway ties stacked up along the CPR tracks in town are a safety and fire hazard that should be removed without delay, says Mayor Rhonda Hunter.

During the May 25 regularly scheduled council meeting, councillors directed that a letter be prepared and sent to the company asking for immediate action.

“The piles are not only unsightly, sitting in the middle of our community, (but) they are also a safety issue, a potential fire hazard, and local kids have open access to the ties as a potential play area,” said Hunter. 

“The ties are covered in creosote, a by-product of coal tar. Because the creosote in these ties is a chemical classified as a hazardous substance, there is a high importance for CP Rail to relocate these ties out of our community.”

Hunter said during the meeting that she has spoken to a CPR representative and asked what will be done about the ties.

“The representative indicates that it is certainly a reasonable expectation of CPR by our municipality to have the ties removed from the area within the town limits,” she said.

“He also explained that there are increasingly strengthened environmental regulations that create a narrowed option for disposal of the ties.”

The representative encouraged the municipality to write a letter urging the expeditious removal of the piles of ties, she said.

Council passed a motion authorizing a letter to be forwarded to CPR outlining the expectation that the ties will be removed in as expeditious a manner as is possible.