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Managed by Paul J. Loftus, a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Transportation Law Today provides professionals in the rail, transit, inland maritime, and trucking industries with current news and analysis of laws, rulings, and regulatory policies.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Transport Canada Prohibits One-Person Crews on Haz Mat Trains

In response to the derailment and subsequent disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada's Transportation regulatory agency, Transport Canada, has issued 6 Emergency Directives. Among the new emergency rules are requirements that all unattended controlling locomotives on main tracks and sidings have their cabs protected from unauthorized access, and that railroads ensure handbrake rules under the Canadian Rail Operating Rules are complied with when a locomotive attached to one or more cars is left unattended for more than an hour. The Directive also prohibits locomotives coupled to cars carrying "dangerous goods" (i.e. Canada's term for hazardous materials) from being left unattended on a main track. Regarding crew size, every locomotive coupled to one or more haz mat cars transporting dangerous goods, must be operated by no fewer than two qualified crew members. Here is a link to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board's "active investigation" page about the incident.