The rail tank cars least likely to survive a crash will be off Canadian railway tracks years sooner than originally planned.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced in Ottawa on Wednesday the federal government is moving up the timeline for removing from the rails some of the most dangerous kinds of rail tank cars carrying crude oil and other dangerous goods through Canadian cities and towns.
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“We are amending those timelines because we want to use the safest possible containers to transport dangerous goods as soon as possible,” Garneau said.
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CPC 1232 tank cars that do not have heat protection layers will not be allowed to carry crude oil as of Nov. 1, 2018.
That deadline had originally been April 1, 2020.
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As well, DOT 111 tank cars and CPC 1232 tank cars that carry other types of highly volatile flammable liquids besides crude oil without a layer of thermal protection will be phased out by Jan. 1, 2019.
That deadline was originally set for April 30, 2025.
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As well, Garneau said there will be a working group created so that the railroad industry can make recommendations to Transport Canada on how best to speed up the timeline for phasing out CPC 1232 tank cars with a layer of heat protection.
The decision to remove the most dangerous kinds of rail transport cars from Canadian railways comes five years after the deadly 2013 derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que.
Forty-seven people died after a runaway train derailed and exploded, destroying part of the town’s core where the railway passed through.
An investigation later found the train was improperly parked when it derailed.
Three men were found not guilty of criminal negligence in January 2018 following a court case examining their connection to the tragedy.
Ottawa also committed in January to pay for a major portion of the railway rerouting project that will move that track out of the downtown of Lac-Megantic.
The final amount of federal contribution has not yet been announced.