OTTAWA, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister
of Transport, addressed executives at the Advisory Council on Railway
Safety and underscored the critical role of the railway industry as the
government strengthens railway safety standards.
The safety of Canadians is our top priority," said Minister Raitt. "Our
government understands that by working together with the stakeholders
in the transportation sector, we can make Canada's rail system safer
and more secure."
Minister Raitt reiterated the government's priority of safety and
highlighted its actions following Lac-Mégantic, including issuing an
emergency directive to railway companies requiring:
trains carrying dangerous goods be operated by at least two people;
no trains carrying dangerous goods be left unattended on a main track;
locomotive cabs be secured against unauthorized entry;
directional controls be removed from unattended trains;
special instructions on hand brakes would be applied to locomotives
attached to one or more cars and left unattended for more than one
automatic brakes would be set to full service position and the
independent brake would be fully applied to locomotives attached to one
or more cars and left unattended for less than one hour.
She also noted the issuing of a ministerial order obligating railway
companies to develop rules to comply with these requirements
Minister Raitt talked about the government taking targeted action to
make the transportation of dangerous goods safer and the protective
direction, requiring consignors to conduct classification tests on
crude oil, recently issued by Transport Canada.
She also discussed the way forward, including how the Advisory Council
can play a crucial role in the government's accelerated development and
implementation of regulations that reflect recent amendments to the Railway Safety Act.
She asked Advisory Council members to:
examine operations, while balancing the legitimate concerns of
communities, to identify concrete actions that can be taken to further
reduce safety risks;
provide updates on the implementation of the ministerial order issued in
July, specifically concerning crew sizes and securing of rail cars; and
explore what can be done to address train speed in urban areas, operator
fatigue, technology, and any other areas that they feel need to be
"I am convinced that, by working together, we will strengthen both the
safety of our rail system and the role it will play in Canada's
future," said Minister Raitt.
The Advisory Council on Railway Safety provides a forum for the
discussion of railway safety issues and the development and assessment
of changes to the Railway Safety Act regulatory framework. Members include railway companies, Transport
Canada, the Railway Association of Canada, provinces, shippers,
suppliers and municipalities.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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