Canada speeds up timeline for stronger rail cars

Canada’s transportation department said on Wednesday it would bring forward the deadlines for phasing out crash susceptible rail tank cars that carry crude oil and other dangerous goods.

About a month ago, Transportation Safety Board Chair Kathy Fox had called for stronger tank cars for transporting flammable liquids, sooner than the initial deadline of 2025.

The directive comes at a time when Canada, faced with congested pipelines, is set to boost crude-by-rail shipments.

Cenovus Energy Inc’s deal with Canadian National Railway Co, is one of the many agreements signed between oil producers and railway companies to move more crude by rail.

Phasing out these least crash-resistant tank cars as soon as possible is another step being taken for the safety of communities along railway lines, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said.

Transport Canada said on Wednesday the new timelines will phase out unjacketed CPC 1232 tank cars that carry crude oil, 17 months earlier on Nov. 1 this year. Unjacketed CPC 1232 tank cars do not have a layer of thermal protection.

Older DOT-111 cars — involved in the 2013 runaway train explosion carrying crude that killed 47 in the Canadian province of Quebec — and unjacketed CPC 1232 cars that carry condensates and other highly volatile flammable liquids will be phased out on Jan. 1 next year, ahead of its 2025 deadline. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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