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Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN


Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN safety officer: Newer tank cars 'fared better' in last week's derailment


New specification DOT-111 tank cars involved in a CN derailment last week near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, appeared to have fared better than the older DOT-111 tank cars that derailed, a senior CN safety officer said during an address Monday in Ottawa at a Canadian Transportation Research Forum on rail safety.

On Jan. 7, 17 cars on a 122-car CN train derailed, including five tank cars carrying crude oil and four cars carrying propane. The derailment caused a fire and local evacuations.

Information obtained by CN from the Association of American Railroads showed that three of the five crude-carrying tank cars that derailed were newly built DOT-111 cars that conformed with the higher tank-car standards ordered after October 2011 for transporting crude and ethanol, said CN spokesman Mark Hallman in an email. The two other derailed tank cars were older DOT-111 models that CN and the rail industry are recommending be phased out or retrofitted, he said.

CN's ongoing investigation, which is being conducted in close collaboration with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's investigation, will determine the exact nature of the damage sustained by all five tank cars and the volume of product affected, said Hallman, adding that the Class I has no further comment on the accident at this time.