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Archived - Minister Raitt announces steps to further strengthen railway

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Government of Canada takes meaningful action in response to the Transportation Safety Board’s Lac-Mégantic Report

October 29, 2014 – Ottawa – Transport Canada

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced decisive measures to address the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s (TSB) recommendations stemming from its final report on the Lac-Mégantic train derailment.

The TSB issued two recommendations and two safety advisories to the department. In response, Transport Canada is:

  • Requiring railway companies to meet standardized requirements for hand brake application and put into effect additional physical defences to secure trains;

  • Increasing oversight by recruiting additional staff to carry out more frequent audits and creating processes for increased information sharing with municipalities;

  • Conducting further research on crude oil properties, behaviour and hazards and launching a targeted inspection campaign to verify the classification of rail shipments; and

  • Requiring certain railways (including short lines) to submit training plans to Transport Canada for review, and conducting an audit blitz of short lines to determine specific training gaps.

The Government of Canada has responded to all TSB recommendations and advisories on Lac-Mégantic by taking immediate, meaningful action to further improve railway safety and the safe transportation of dangerous goods by rail, and continues to do so.

In April 2014, our Government responded to initial recommendations from the TSB by removing the least crash-resistant DOT-111 tanks cars from circulation, ensuring industry was conducting route planning and analysis, and ensuring all transportation of high-risk hydrocarbons (including petroleum products) have associated Emergency Response Assistance Plans. The measures announced today further strengthen Canada’s regulation and oversight of railway safety.

The Government of Canada continues to work closely with stakeholders—railways, shippers, municipalities, first responders, Aboriginal communities, provincial and territorial governments, and U.S. officials— to protect the safety of Canadians and assess what additional actions can be taken to enhance safety.

Quick Facts

  • In July 2013, Transport Canada established a two-person minimum for locomotive crews on trains carrying dangerous goods, and imposed stricter requirements for securing unattended trains.

  • In April 2014, Transport Canada ordered the removal of the least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars from dangerous goods service and required those that do not meet new safety standards to be phased out by May 1, 2017.

  • In July 2014, Transport Canada proposed new Railway Safety Management System Regulations that will strengthen requirements and help railways better identify and manage safety risks.

Quotes

“Our Government remains committed to strengthening the safety of our country’s railways and the transportation of dangerous goods. The measures we are announcing today build on actions already taken and address the specific recommendations and advisories issued by the Transportation Safety Board.”
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
Speaker

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Contacts

Jana Régimbal
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

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