Transportation Safety Board calls for tougher standards for rail tank cars

OTTAWA – The Transportation Safety Board is calling for better protection standards for tanker cars used to haul flammable liquids by rail.

Acting in the aftermath of the deadly Lac-Megantic disaster, the board is recommending that so-called DOT-111 cars used to carry oil and other flammable liquids meet tougher enhanced protection standards.

The recommendation will cover tens of thousands of older model DOT-111s that are the workhorses of the oil-by-rail industry.

The board is also recommending that key train routes for dangerous goods be limited to maximum speeds of 80 kilometres an hour, and that such routes have sensors to detect defective rail-car bearings.

It also says such routes should be inspected at least twice a year.

The board also recommends that railways draft emergency response plans for the transportation of all large volumes of liquid petroleum products.

Safety board member Wendy Tadros told a news conference it is clear that older tank cars should not be used to transport flammable liquids.

“A long phase-out simply isn’t good enough,” she said. “”Change must come and it must come now.”

The board has flagged concerns about the safety of DOT-111 cars since the 1990s.

In the Lac-Megantic crash last summer, 47 people were killed after a runaway train loaded with oil derailed and exploded.




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