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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

New hearings set for Lac-Megantic rail bypass project

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


Transport Canada announced additional public hearings this and next month on measures involving the environmental impacts of the Lac-Megantic rail bypass project in Canada.

An online public consultation will be held starting today through Nov. 25, when citizens can consult reports on hydrology, as well as proposed mitigation and follow-up measures. They also can submit comments via email at

In-person hearings will be held Nov. 7 and Nov. 8, and a virtual hearing will be held Nov. 9. The Nov. 7 hearing is by invitation only; the Nov. 8 hearing will be an open-house format; and the Nov. 9 hearing will be held virtually.

The proposed project calls for a 7.8-mile rail line that will pass through the municipalities of Nantes, Lac-Megantic and Frontenac in Quebec. The project includes construction of two yard tracks in the Lac-Megantic industrial park to allow for the relocation of the Nantes and Frontenac railway operations to this location.

When the rail bypass is completed, the existing track that runs through the center of Lac-Megantic, including the sidings, will be dismantled.

The project was proposed in response to the July 6, 2013, Lac-Megantic rail disaster, in which a runaway train hauling 72 tank cars filled with crude oil derailed as it approached the center of town. The tank cars exploded and the oil caught fire, killing 47 people and destroying many of the town center's buildings and other infrastructure.