July 23: Emergency Safety Directives Issued for Rails

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In the wake of the tragic incident in Lac-Mégantic, which is still under investigation, Transport Canada issued an emergency directive that immediately requires all rail operators to ensure that:

  • No locomotive attached to one or more loaded tank cars transporting dangerous goods is operated with fewer than two qualified persons on a main track or sidings or is left unattended on a main track;
  • Unattended controlling locomotives on a main track and sidings are protected from unauthorized entry into the cab;
  • Directional controls are removed from any unattended locomotives;
  • Their company’s special instructions on hand brakes are applied to any locomotive attached to one or more cars that’s left unattended for more than one hour on a main track or sidings; and
  • In addition to complying with their company’s special instructions on hand brakes, the automatic brake is set in full service position and the independent brake is fully applied for any locomotive attached to one or more cars that are left unattended for one hour or less on a main track or sidings.