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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

CP, CN and Railway Association of Canada appeal emergency handbrake order


Canadian Pacific announced late last week that it's appealing a ministerial order issued by Transport Canada last month that mandates the use of handbrakes during emergency stops on certain mountain grades.

The order, issued Feb. 8, requires that trains must apply handbrakes during emergency stops on grades over 1.8 percent. Transport Minister Marc Garneau issued the order after a fatal derailment of a CP train near Field, British Columbia.

CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel said the company is appealing the order out of a concern that it would add risk and have unintended consequences.

"Safety is one of our foundational principles and we remain laser-focused on continued improvement in this area," said Creel in a press release. "The application of handbrakes in accordance with the ministerial order introduces additional risks and will have unintended consequences. We are seeking a review of the ministerial order because we firmly believe safer options are available and we must get this right."

CP will comply with the order while it seeks an appeal, which will be heard by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada, company officials said.

The Railway Association of Canada and CN also are appealing the order, according to CP.