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Transport Canada announces new rules regarding train brakes

Transport Canada has announced new rules regarding train brakes and other safety moves resulting from the fatal derailment of a Canadian Pacific train near Field, B.C., in February 2019. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)

OTTAWA -- The Canadian government will require railroads to revise rules regarding inspection and maintenance of air brakes and develop a winter operating plan under a ministerial order announced Monday. The move is one of several undertaken by Transport Canada as a result of Transportation Safety Board findings into the February 2019 runaway of a Canadian Pacific train at Field, British Columbia, that killed three crew members [see "Safety board issues findings and recommendations ...," Trains News Wire, March 31, 2022]. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra also announced that Transport Canada and railway companies will, in September 2022, launch an effort to consider the design and safety parameters for automatic parking brakes, and that Transport Canada will conduct testing of braking technology to verify safety and performance.

The Canadian government will also launch "targeted audits" of Canadian Pacific by this August to assess the railroad's safety management systems and training, along with assessment of the company's occupational health and safety committees.

"Our government's top priority is keeping our railways and workers safe; the new actions announced today directly address the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's recommendations to Transport Canada in their investigation report on the derailment," Alghabra said. "I would like to thank the Transportation Safety Board of Canada for their investigation and final report.

Our government will continue to make improvements to ensure Canada remains a global leader in rail safety.''