Canadian Manufacturing

New railway act rules will enhance industry safety, CN says

Operator will "adjust its safety practices to comply" with Transport Canada directive



MONTREAL—Canada’s largest railway operator is lauding the federal government’s recently enacted changes to the Railway Safety Act, saying they will improve industry safety.

Canadian National (CN) Railway, which spoke of its existing “robust” safety policies in the days following the deadly incident in Lac-Megantic, Que., heaped praise on the changes implemented by Transport Canada, and said they will enhance the effectiveness of train securement procedures and safety.

“The government’s new safety rules will help to reduce the risk of unintended train movements that can lead to catastrophic accidents such as the one in Lac-Megantic, Que.,” CN president and CEO Claude Mongeau said in a statement.

The changes to section 33 of the Railway Safety Act, announced in an emergency directive by Transport Canada July 23, were made in response to the incident that killed an estimated 47 people.

Mongeau said CN will “adjust its safety practices to comply” with the six changes in the directive.

“This rail accident, the most devastating in decades, will be thoroughly investigated by federal authorities to determine exactly what went wrong and what needs to be done to prevent such accidents in the future,” Mongeau said.

“This tragedy is a sober reminder to the industry that safety must be an absolute priority to prevent accidents from harming the communities and the environment railways must go through.

“Notwithstanding that accidents can always happen, the movement of hazardous material by rail is handled with a very high level of safety. The fact is that 99.99 per cent of dangerous goods moving by rail arrive at their destination without a release caused by an accident.”

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