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2/21/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Canadian government appoints panel to review federal rail safety act



The Canadian government recently appointed an advisory panel to review the Railway Safety Act. Doug Lewis will chair the panel, which will include Pierre-André Côté, Martin Lacombe and Gary Moser.

Canada last conducted an independent review of the safety act in 1994, and amended it in 1999. The panel will address enforcement powers associated with administrative monetary penalties; minimum safety requirements; rule application consistency; delegated powers to railroad safety inspectors; engineering requirements; and legislative authority.

Before issuing recommendations, panel members will consult with railroads, unions, shippers, industry associations, the public, local and provincial governments, aboriginal and environmental groups, and federal agencies. The panel is expected to issue a report by October.

Since the safety act passed in 1989, the number of federally regulated railroads has increased, rail traffic and accident rates have risen, and industry practices have changed.

“While industry-wide accidents have decreased by 9 percent and main-track derailments are down 30 percent since 2005, more needs to be done,” said Canadian Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Lawrence Cannon in a prepared statement.


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