The Conservative government has unveiled a new set of rules aimed at improving rail safety in Canada.
They include tougher hand brake requirements, more Transport Canada staff to do audits, more research on crude oil properties and a requirement that rail companies submit training plans for review.
The new rules come after the Transportation Safety Board gave a failing grade this week to the country’s two largest railways and the railroad involved in the deadly Lac-Megantic disaster.
“Lac Mégantic was a tragic incident and the CP team has worked diligently with Transport Canada since then to implement all new measures required of the industry to keep communities and employees safe. CP will apply all necessary procedures and processes to comply with the new Directive as well as other measures announced today,” said Salem Woodrow, a communications representative with CP Rail.
The TSB report said all have failed to file mandatory accident information in recent years.
The rail industry is facing heightened scrutiny following the fiery July 2013 derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, which killed 47 people and wiped out part of the town.
An unattended tanker train loaded with volatile crude oil broke loose from its parking spot, roared down a hill and slammed into the community.
“Safety is the foundation upon which CP’s service is built, and the culture of safety in CP is rooted in good habits that are practiced at every level of the company. This is how we maintain our best-in-class safety performance. Having clear, consistent industry rules and operating practices is a prerequisite to developing those habits that make the industry and our communities safer,” said Woodrow.
*With files from Canadian Press