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Oil Train Derailments Reignite Debate over Railway Safety Rules

(Eric Atkins – Globe & Mail)

A pair of recent oil train derailments and fires involving upgraded tank cars have raised fresh questions about the safety of moving crude by rail.

Trains hauling oil crashed and caught fire in Northern Ontario and West Virginia on Sunday and Monday, respectively. In both cases, the railways said the tank cars were the newer style, known as CPC-1232, with thicker skins and shielding over valves designed to prevent spills and fires in a derailment.

Requiring oil shippers to use the upgraded models and phasing out the older, more spill-prone tank cars by early 2017 is a central part of Ottawa’s response to the 2013 explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Que., that killed 47 people. Click here to read more.