A quick walk tells tale of missing bolts, rotting ties

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by Trevor Greenway on May 19, 2009

When Robert Somers of Chelsea walks his dogs down the train tracks across from Meredith Rd, he comes across more areas where the tracks are in disrepair.

After finding several missing bolts and rotten ties, he wonders just how safe the tracks are, especially in light of the fact that the train derailed on its second run May 10.

When The Low Down received a tip from Somers last week to check out more spots he found in disrepair we followed up.

Taking about a 1,000 metre walk along the tracks in the same spot, this reporter came across at least five different spots where railway ties were either rotted down to nothing, or completely missing.  Several ties with a pink “x” were marked for replacement, but have yet to be repaired.

The May 10 derailment at Larrimac was caused by “soggy” railway, according to the Hull Chelsea Wakefield Steam Train Company. Two cars were sent off track, one coming to a halt in a nearby bush. Fortunately, nobody was in either car and there were no injuries.      

Looking for more defects, I came across another spot just north of Meredith Rd. where the railway spikes are completely missing from a brace that mounts the track to the railway tie. Walking back to the car, I nearly tripped on a dried out and broken railway tie that was protruding above the ground. It was not marked for replacement.

Last week I visited the bridge at Farm Point to see what repairs had been done on it. Aside from some new railway ties and a few braces, it seems like workers just added some support beams under the bridge. The Low Down requested an official document that outlined what repairs had been done on the tracks and where, but Louise Boudrias of La Compagnie de chemin de fer de l’Outaouais (CCFO) failed to return the Low Down’s calls by press time.