#26 – Exploding Trains are Bullshit

For a country that proclaims the creation of a trans-continental railroad (but not the attendant genocide which is naturally revised out of caker history) as part of the national mythology Canada sure as shit doesn’t care about the totally inadquate state of its rail infrastructure. There are several postings worth of content to this story but there’s one particularly exposive issue that Canada desperately needs to be dinged for. That event was the horrific derailing and explosion of a train carrying oil on 6 July 2013, which caused massive damage to a small community called Lac-Megantic.

When your rolling stock can become an IED somewhere between the Bakken formation and a refinery you have a fucking problem. The problems with the rail infrastructure were known for months ahead of the incident, but that wasn’t stopping one of Canada’s most malignant families from pounding oil through on the way to their St. John, NB refinery. The Irvings too will be returning to the blog because seriously fuck them, but even those greased-up bastards are only part of a story that killed 47 and nuked a town’s core. This is a story of egregious, tremendous failure that touches international shitty business, the strange anti-labor attitudes that cakers adore, and Canada’s refusal to enforce tolerable and safe infrastructure maintenance because doing so costs caker business money.

The story of Lac-Megantic is the most tragic story of explosive rail failure caused by Canada’s lack of co-ordination, but it is by no means the only one. This is also not a problem exclusively experienced by Canada, although that fact of course excuses nothing. But holy Christ is it impressive that Canada is so heavily oriented to extractive industry and so impossibly unable to give a shit about what risks might come from actually transporting the extracted stuff that 1200 trains derailed in 2015 – years after a derailment took out an entire town. The bomb train is perhaps the greatest manifestion of the blatent contempt that Canadian business and government has for its people and its dependents. Cakers are being played, and they love it!

It’s not just the rails that are failing Canadians. Canada’s mindless negligence of essential infrastructure means that almost 75% of Canada’s 13,500 grain cars will have to be forcibly retired in ten years. But that’s okay – grains are merely one of the West’s most important exports. At-grade and other railroad crossings are plagued with “widespread design flaws“, because why plan infrastructure properly when you can fuck around and kill people instead, right? Caker business takes a swing at failure – after a massive uptick in derailments on CNR’s lines in 2014, the company chose to lay people off in 2015 and look like they’ll maintain their dangerous strategy of reducing the number of workers available to maintain rails in 2016. In the caker business world, anything is worth doing in the name of immediate-term profit margins!

(S) “Can we make the cars out of cardboard? It’s cheaper!” CN Head Office, probably

Rail is often invisible for the average caker, who doesn’t bother to think about how Canada’s extractive economy even gets to market because thinking is hard. Unfortunately for Canadians, trains are kind of important. While train traffic is mythologized in Canada as being the backbone of the country, a lack of spine and concern amongst cakers means that the worst kinds of caker business are permitted to oversee looming rot and decline of an essential piece of infrastructure. Even when people die due to negligence, the response is to point at other countries and hope for the issue to disappear again under a blanket of feels and myths. It’s textbook Canada, right down to the disappearing act.

Because why worry about infrastructure that you proclaim to be essential for the creation of the country, right? In modern Canada, product moves on feels and not giving a shit.



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