|RAC appoints new dangerous-goods specialist for Western Canada
|The Ottawa-based Railway Association of Canada (RAC), which represents freight and passenger railways and promotes the safety and growth of the industry,
has appointed a former CN dangerous-goods expert to take on the same task across the Western Canada. Curtis Myson will take on the role of dangerous-
goods specialist for Western Canada effective April 1, 2008.
Myson will take over from retiring dangerous-goods specialist John Lewis, and will be based in Edmonton and responsible for the area from Winnipeg west to
the Pacific Ocean. Myson makes up a three person dangerous-goods team, joining Andy Ash, who is responsible for Ontario and areas west to Winnipeg and
is based in Toronto, and Jean-Pierre Couture, who covers Quebec and the Maritimes and is based in Montreal.
In addition to performing railcar inspections. RAC dangerous-goods team members also deal directly with the companies that manufacture and ship
potentially dangerous freight to ensure a safe journey from the plant to the railcar's destination, and do outreach work in communities along rail lines, talking to
police, fire and municipal officials about rail operations that pass through their communities.
Myson has 24 years of experience in the field, including stints as an emergency response contractor and as a trainer at the former Alberta Fire Training School,
along with 15 years of firefighting experience. Myson also completed training as a tank-car specialist with the Transportation Technology Centre - Emergency
Response Training Centre in Pueblo, Colorado with the Association of American Railroads' bureau of explosives in 2006.
Dangerous goods - ranging from chemicals to petroleum products - account for approximately 12% of all rail traffic. While there are federal safety regulations
in place, the RAC says its three-person team will provide an additional safety layer.
Canadian railways haul an estimated 65 per cent of surface freight and move 63 million passengers annually.
Once Myson starts his new job, all three RAC team members will be former CN employees.
"We have a mechanical background, we also have dangerous-goods emergency response background and we're all tank-car specialists," says Andy Ash, the
RAC’s Dangerous Goods Manager based in Toronto.
Source: CAW Council 4000 and files from Laura Severs - Business Edge