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Canada's Transport Minister Marc Garneau last week ordered railroads to reduce their train speeds based on frigid temperatures to ensure the safe transportation of dangerous goods in colder weather.
The order, issued under the Rail Safety Act, is aimed at further reducing the risk of derailments during winter months, Transport Canada officials said in a press release. Restricting train speeds will be based on temperature conditions rather than on a winter date range, as required under a previous order.
"Cold temperatures influence railway operations and can affect the integrity of the rail infrastructure," said Garneau.
The new order takes effective immediately. Railroads will be required to develop and submit a winter operations plan specific to each subdivision where higher risk key trains operate. However, railroads that don't develop a subdivision-specific plan will be required to stick to the original date-based approach to reduce train speeds during winter months, beginning on Nov. 15.