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Feds issue emergency directive to slow trains transporting dangerous goods


OTTAWA, Ont.–The Honourable Minister Raitt, Minister of Transport, issued an Emergency Directive April 23 to railway companies concerning the safe and secure transportation of dangerous goods.

Companies must slow their trains to a maximum of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometres per hour) when travelling in highly urbanized areas. The Emergency Directive also requires increased inspections and risk assessments along key routes used for the transportation of dangerous goods, including crude oil and ethanol. The Emergency Directive remains in place until August 17, 2015.

Transport Canada said it continues to explore all measures that will further improve the safety of the Canadian railway system.

Transport Canada said an Emergency Directive is the most efficient way to immediately address important safety enhancements and require railway companies to make operational changes quickly. Canada’s two largest railway operators—CN and CP—have already restricted their train speeds to a maximum of 35 mph in highly urbanized areas.