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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Transport Canada: Rail operations to relocate to Lac-Megantic industrial park

In July 2013, a crude-oil train derailment led to an explosion and fire that killed 47 people and destroyed Lac-Megantic's downtown.
Photo – Transportation Safety Board of Canada


The Canada and Quebec governments earlier this week announced financial support for moving the Nantes and Frontenac railway operations to the Lac-Megantic industrial park in Quebec.

The Canadian government is responding to demands from citizens and the mayors of Lac-Megantic, Nantes and Frontenac to improve the safety of railway operations, while continuing to work with provincial, municipal and industry stakeholders, federal officials said in a Transport Canada press release.

The necessary improvements will be funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments, and will be included in the plans and specifications of the overall Lac-Megantic rail bypass project, they said.

That project is being built in response to the July 2013 Lac-Megantic rail disaster, in which an unattended crude-oil train, which had been parked in Nantes at the top of a slope, rolled down the hill before derailing at a high rate of speed in Lac-Megantic. The derailment led to an explosion and fire that killed 47 people and destroyed Lac-Megantic's downtown.

"The transfer of rail operations to the Lac-Megantic industrial park is an important step in the rail bypass project. It was a request made to me by several family members of the victims at a meeting last year, as well as by the community," said Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

In May 2018, the federal and provincial governments announced joint funding for the rail bypass. The Canadian government will fund 60 percent and the Quebec government, 40 percent.

In addition to improving security, the relocation will reduce train noise heard by residents living near the existing railroad, officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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