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Transportation Safety Board reports 24 runaway trains so far this year

The federal Transport Department has implemented several of the TSB's safety recommendations since the deadly Lac-Megantic disaster in 2013.
July 12, 2016
By The Canadian Press

The Transportation Safety Board says there have been 24 cases this year of stationary trains suddenly lurching into gear.

The federal agency says there were 42 similar cases last year and 30 in 2014.

The locations of the incidents weren’t specified.

Since the Lac-Megantic train tragedy in 2013 in which 47 people were killed, the federal Transport Department has implemented several of the TSB’s recommendations in order to help avoid such disasters.

In that case, an idled train carrying crude oil careened into downtown Lac-Megantic, derailed and exploded, resulting in the heavy casualty list and massive property destruction.

Transport Canada says in an email the TSB has changed its requirements for reporting such events in 2014, which likely contributed to a spike in the number of incidents reported.

The department says the new reporting rules also allow authorities to identify areas where increased monitoring may be necessary.

Lac-Megantic Mayor Jean-Guy Cloutier says derailments in the rest of Canada don’t compare to what happened in his town three years ago.

Cloutier says the Quebec town is still seeking a bypass track to redirect trains away from residential and commercial areas.

A report will be ready in early 2017 before being presented to the federal government, which has the final say.