May 01, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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Canada and the United States have announced new rail-safety standards as both countries try to avoid disasters like the one that devastated Lac-Megantic, Que., in 2013.

The new requirements are wide-ranging and include: a different braking system for new trains, a 50-mile-an-hour speed limit for certain carriers – and retrofits for old DOT-111 and CPC-1232 tank cars.

The new standards will apply to new trains.

They also set a series of deadlines over the next 10 years – for retrofitting older trains.

Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined the changes at a Washington news conference.

They say the changes were created as a result of collaboration on both sides of the border – with the goal of strengthening the safety of the two countries’ inter-connected rail networks.

The first retrofit deadline comes-up in May 2017,  for non-jacketed DOT-111 cars delivering oil.

The last deadline applies to jacketed CPC-1232s-  in the year 2025.

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