Rail traffic set to resume in Lac-Megantic on Wednesday

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. – Rail traffic is set to resume in Lac-Megantic on Wednesday, five months after a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed, exploded and killed 47 people.

Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche says service will return on a gradual basis and that no dangerous substances will be transported through the Quebec town.

Roy-Laroche told a news conference Monday that psychological aid will be available for people traumatized by the return of the trains.

“If the return of rail service causes any worries for the residents, we invite them to contact the pyschological counselling services that are there to help them with their concerns,” she said.

Transport Canada has given the green light for trains to roll through the town, which is three hours east of Montreal.

Andre Lapointe, Transport Canada’s Quebec director, said several conditions have been imposed on the railway, including the repair of track and the requirement to slow down at some places and even make complete stops at some crossings.

He said in some cases the train operators will have to get out and check the crossing.

“This will be done manually and is being done to confirm the signals are completely functional and safe,” he said.

The speed limit will be 16 kilometres an hour on certain parts of the track.

The track is still owned by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, the company at the heart of last July’s disaster.