Tag Archives: Railways

Integration of Quebec’s northern regions into US war economy

Canada’s strategic critical minerals: Who decides? | Fernand Deschamps

TML Weekly explained in February how Canada and Quebec are being further integrated into the U.S. imperialist economy and war machine through the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration.[1] A recent Quebec government announcement reveals that the next step is to build infrastructure to guarantee a supply chain to ship these critical minerals to the United States. Continue reading

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This Day. 7th anniversary of Lac-Mégantic tragedy – The need to build a public authority that defends public not private interests

By Pierre Chénier

July 6, 2020 marked the seventh anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, one of the worst train disasters in Canadian history. 

On the evening of July 5, 2013, a freight train comprised of five locomotives and 72 tanker cars, unsuited for the type of crude oil they carried, was left unattended in Nantes, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. At around 1:00 am the train started to roll down the slope towards the town of Lac-Mégantic. Shortly after, 63 of the tanker cars derailed in downtown Lac-Mégantic, spilling their contents and causing a series of fires and explosions of catastrophic proportions. Continue reading

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Support the just demands of CN wail workers!

Over 3,000 Canadian National Railway workers on Strike

Picket lines in Port Robinson

At 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on November 19, about 3,200 Canadian National Railway conductors, trainpersons and yard workers went on strike, mainly over issues of workers’ health and safety, which are also issues of public health and safety. The workers are members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

In a press release dated November 16, the TCRC explained:), which served the legally required 72-hour strike notice during the evening of November 15. The TCRC reports that it was unable to reach a deal with CN, as the company remains unwilling to address the workers’ concerns.

The labour contract of these workers expired on July 23. The monopoly media are reporting that talks are ongoing with CN at this time.

Picket line goes up in Saskatoon, as strike begins on November 19

Prince George

In a press release dated November 16, the TCRC explained:

“CN currently requires TCRC members to operate trains alone from outside of the locomotive, hanging on to moving trains with one hand while operating a remotely controlled locomotive with the other. Railroaders are expected to do this in rain and in freezing temperatures, sometimes for distances of up to about 17 miles.

“The union’s demands to cease these dangerous practices have fallen on deaf ears and the company has refused to come to a satisfactory agreement at the negotiations table to adjust their operating practices in the interest of safety.

“The company also wants to make it more difficult to take time off and make employees work longer hours, in an attempt to get more work done with fewer people and to reduce staffing levels.

“‘Fatigue has been recognized by the Transportation Safety Board as a major safety problem in this industry. Too many railroaders are operating trains when they should be resting,’ explained the president of the TCRC, Lyndon Isaak. ‘For the safety of all Canadians, we cannot allow CN to make it even harder for our members to get the rest they need.’

“Moreover, CN is demanding that the union accept a lifetime cap on prescription drug coverage which would be tantamount to denying workers — and their families — proper treatment for some forms of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.

“Wages are not a major sticking point in these negotiations.”

Montreal, November 19, 2019.

These are long-standing concerns of the rail workers, for which they have been presenting demands that remain unaddressed by the rail monopolies and the federal government.

Already, the monopoly media are playing their dirty role of paving the way for the Trudeau government to pass back-to-work legislation so that the just struggle of the workers is criminalized and the burning issues they are raising are once again swept under the rug, while workers and the public are placed at great risk. Just 12 hours after the CN workers went on strike, the Kenney government in Alberta called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately recall Parliament and enact back-to-work legislation (Parliament is not scheduled to convene until December 5). In calling for the criminalization of the striking workers and the important issues they are raising, the Kenney government shamefully invoked the failure to build pipelines, saying this puts extra pressure on CN to transport oil by rail, and also claimed to be defending farmers, saying they need to transport their crops and are already facing problems with bad weather and the trade dispute with China.

This must not be permitted to happen. All workers and the public at large must express their support for the just demand of the CN workers for a negotiated contract that addresses their concerns and demands.

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No Via Rail for War, No Ports Toronto for War, No Harbour for War!

Via Rail, Ports Toronto, Halifax International Security Forum and General Dynamics Land Systems (US manufacturers of the LAVs being shipped to Saudi Arabia for its war of aggression against Yemen through the port of Saint John) are all corporate sponsors of the NATO Association of Canada. Why is this?

Troops and war material must be transported to Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Continue reading

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Six years on from the train explosion in Lac-Mégantic: A shocking account of criminal negligence

The report and interview in this issue of Renewal Update provide a shocking account of the criminal negligence of governments and the self-regulating railway companies.

The terrible memory of what happened in Lac-Mégantic is still fresh in people’s minds, with local residents still reeling from the experience. Continue reading

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Tragic deaths of three rail workers

Urgent need for a rail safety regime that serves the employees and public | Editorial of Workers’ Forum

Workers’ Forum expresses its deepest condolences to the families, loved ones and co-workers of conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer, Canadian Pacific Railway crew members killed on February 4, in a train derailment near the Alberta-British Columbia border. The train plunged nearly 60 metres from a bridge into the Kicking Horse River. Continue reading

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Trips made by China-Europe freight trains surge in 2018

2018.04.27.People look at a new China-Europe freight train from Chengdu to Vienna at the Vienna South Freight Center in Vienna, Austria

Austrians look at a new China-Europe freight train from Chengdu to Vienna at the Vienna South Freight Center in Vienna, Austria, on April 27, 2018.

China-Europe freight trains made 5,611 trips in the first 11 months of 2018, surging 72 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to a meeting held in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Continue reading

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Fifth anniversary of Lac-Mégantic tragedy: Hold rail monopolies and governments accountable!

By Pierre Chénier

 July 6, 2018 marks the fifth anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, one of the worst train disasters in Canadian history. On the evening of March 5, the Mégantic community participated in a silent march that ended at the cemetery where many of the victims of the tragedy are buried. Continue reading

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Who owns Amtrak?

The name Amtrak comes from a combination of “American” and “track.” The USA does not have a national passenger rail system, let alone a publicly-owned system.

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is a government-owned corporation established as a product of the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, to provide intercity passenger train service throughout the United States. It was created by the Richard Nixon presidency largely to protect the private railroads (today’s Class I freight railroads) from their obligation of having to run money-losing passenger routes. The U.S. government owns the preferred stock while private rail companies, including Canadian Pacific and Canadian Rail, own the common stock. Later the Congress stripped preferred shares of voting rights and any liquidation preference, effectively leaving common shareholders in control. Curiously, there has never been a shareholder’s meeting. Continue reading

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‘America First’: Washington train disaster shows grim reality of Trump’s concept of ‘security’

The abnegation of social responsibility by the US government and media | TONY SEED

This morning a train went off the tracks while crossing a highway bridge in Washington State. Train cars can be seen teetering off of the tracks and curling onto the highway on one side and a forested area on the other. Washington Gov Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency, noting in his proclamation “significant structural damage to the overpass, railway and highway infrastructure” and saying the combined effects of the derailment and road closures amounted to a “public disaster”. In a separate statement he called the derailment a “serious and ongoing emergency,” saying his office was still gathering information from Amtrak. Seventy-seven people have reportedly been hospitalized while the number of fatalities is being described as “multiple.”  Continue reading

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Billions in state funds for transportation corridors to serve US-dominated empire-building

Federal government marches further into dead end of nation-wrecking. The working class is determined to affirm its right to build the new! Report from WORKERS’ FORUM

Transport Canada has announced another $2.1 billion of state funds for the Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative to serve the global oligopolies and their control of the Canadian and international economy.[1]

A Ministry press release on July 4 states the Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative is “[to] build stronger, more efficient transportation corridors to international markets…. Canadian businesses will be able to better compete, grow and create even more jobs well into the future.” Continue reading

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Day of working class unity and struggle in defence of the rights of all!

WCMustConstituteNation

  • Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
  • A Time to Think About Concrete Solutions to the Problems the Workers Face – Peggy Askin
  • The Neo-liberal Ideological and Institutional Basis for the Negation of Workers’ Rights – Pierre Chénier

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends militant revolutionary greetings to all the working people across the country on the occasion of May Day 2016 as well as to the workers in all countries demonstrating on this day. May Day is always a time to think about the struggles the workers have waged in the past year and continue to wage in defence of their rights and the rights of all. It is a time to raise the demands of the workers’ movement and accept the challenges the workers face in the coming year. Continue reading

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China home to 60 per cent of world’s high-speed rail

Pictured is a high-speed train connecting Datong, Shanxi Province to Xi’an,Shaanxi Province during a trial run at Yongji North Station | people.cn

By Zhang Mengxu (People’s Daily)

Despite the continuous queries of foreign media on China’s high-speed railway cooperation with neighbouring countries, the nation’s improved technology has earned China-made equipment more global recognition. Data shows that China is now home to more than 60 per cent of the world’s high-speed railways (HSR). Continue reading

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Maritime strategy of the Quebec Liberals: Serving the interests of the United States of North American monopolies

For your information: two articles on the Maritime Strategy of Quebec – the latest plan of the ruling circles to build infrastructure and establish Gateways and Trade Corridors across Canada to facilitate the transportation of energy resources and manufactured goods to North America, Europe and Asia | LOUIS LANG

The Couillard government promotes its Maritime Strategy.

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Strategic significance of Pak-China highway

Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (PCEC)Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seems to have hit a jackpot: the recently announced Chinese plan to invest $46 billion in Pakistan’s infrastructure – roads, railways and power plants – to facilitate transport of Chinese goods to markets worldwide. It will also allow China to largely circumvent the threat of a maritime blockade of Chinese energy imports from the Middle East by the United States and its “Asia Pivot” strategy designed to isolate and contain China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
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China announces $242 billion Moscow-Beijing high-speed rail link

China-Moscow rail earth imageChina will build a high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Moscow, estimated to cost 1.5 trillion yuan ($242 billion), Beijing’s municipal government announced on January 21, Sputniknews reported. The announcement has significant economic and geostrategic implications. Continue reading

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Ukraine stops trains to Crimea

Crimean people celebrate being accepted as part of the Russian Federation in Simferopol, the Republic of Crimea, March 18, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of Crimea signed a treaty on Tuesday accepting the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of Russian territory | Xinhua

Crimean people celebrate being accepted as part of the Russian Federation in Simferopol, the Republic of Crimea, March 18, 2014.

Ukraine has stopped cargo and passenger train movements to Crimea, Crimean Railway head Andrei Karakulkin said on Saturday. “All Ukrainian trains have fully stopped traffic since today.”

“This is misunderstanding. People have to return tickets. Queues have formed at railway ticket offices. People are concerned over their families and relatives both in Crimea and Ukraine,” Karakulkin said.

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Trade routes: Russia dreams of creating an alternative to Suez

Railways across Siberia and the Far East might become alternatives to the sea route.

Russia dreams of creating an alternative to Suez

Eastern promise: freight trains at 
sidings in Siberia. The expansion plans have been criticised as ‘utopian.’ Source: Max Avdeev

Ilya Dashkovsky, RBTH (Aug. 26.) –  An ambitious program of railway expansion in Russia’s Far East opens up the prospect of creating rapid new trade routes between Asia and Europe. At least $17bn is to be invested in modernising the ageing Baikal-Amur (BAM) and Trans-Siberian railways. Supporters of the plan say that it will create a total of half a million jobs and boost industry in Siberia and the Far East region, pointing out that there is already a shortage of rail capacity for transporting freight. Continue reading

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