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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Canadian government, Lac-Megantic agree on land sale for rail bypass project

A rail bypass is needed because of the major train accident that occurred in the town center in July 2013.
Photo – Transportation Safety Board of Canada


Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra on Wednesday announced the government of Canada and town of Lac-Megantic have reached an agreement in principle on the federal acquisition of town-owned parcels of land for the rail bypass project.

Now, both parties will prepare the deed of sale, Alghabra said in a press release.

The proposed project calls for building a 7.8-mile rail line through the municipalities of Nantes, Lac-Megantic and Frontenac in Quebec. Two yard tracks also will be constructed in an industrial park in Lac-Megantic to relocate rail operations in Nantes and Frontenac to the new location.

The project is being developed because of the major rail accident that occurred July 6, 2013, in downtown Lac-Megantic. 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 buildings and other infrastructure.

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

"With this agreement in principle, we have taken another step towards the realization of this rail bypass, which will ensure that the existing rail line will permanently leave downtown Lac-Megantic,” Alghabra said. “We will continue the required process over the next few months to finalize the purchase of the land parcels."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/4/2022