Canadian government has proposed amending regulations for tank
car construction following the recent derailment of a Canadian
National Railway Co. (CN Railway) freight train carrying
propane and crude oil.
The proposed rules,
published Jan. 11, would require that new DOT 111 tank cars
transporting dangerous goods, such as crude oil, be built with
thicker steel and include top-fitting and head shield
The industry is
already building new tank cars to this standard, Canadian
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said, but the proposal "would
turn previously agreed to tank car standard requirements into
Transport Canada is
working with those designing and manufacturing tank cars, as
well as with the U.S. government, to determine what additional
requirements would enhance the DOT 111 standard, including
retrofitting, repurposing or retiring older tank cars in the
North American fleet.
The CN Railway
derailment near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, on Jan. 7 caused
no injuries, although several of the Montreal-based
companys tank cars caught fire and forced the evacuation
of residents in the area (
amm.com, Jan. 9).
New Brunswick public
safety officials allowed residents within 1.2 miles of the
derailment to return home Jan. 11 as fires burning off
petroleum product spilled in the derailment were finally
Train detours between
Montreal and Moncton, New Brunswick, have been terminated
because the Plaster Rock accident site has been cleared, CN
Railway notified shippers.
Canada also wants to
increase the requirements regarding pressure relief valves on
aluminum tank cars to reduce non-accidental releases of
Association of Canada voiced support for the regulatory
amendments. "These (DOT 111) cars need to be replaced and
regulators on both sides of the border should work together to
introduce a mandatory phase-out of legacy tank cars for the
transport of flammable liquids," Railway Association of Canada
president and chief executive officer Michael Bourque said.
This was the second
such accident in North America in less than 10 days, following
a tank car derailment in North Dakota (
amm.com, Dec. 31).