Improved rail safety involves U.S.: Minister

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says she needs to consult with U.S. authorities before proceeding...

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says she needs to consult with U.S. authorities before proceeding with changes to rail safety. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:49 PM ET

OTTAWA - Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says she needs to consult with U.S. authorities before proceeding with changes to rail safety, including retrofitting or replacing the controversial Class 111 tanker cars that exploded in Lac Megantic, Que., last summer, killing 47 people.

Raitt said she has read reports from safety working groups and plans to implement more changes but because the more than 220,000 Class 111 cars are used interchangeably by Canadian and American railways, new regulations will need to be negotiated and phased in with the U.S.

For example, the 72-tanker train that derailed and exploded July 6 in Lac-Megantic left from North Dakota before it crossed into Quebec.

"We have to work across borders; (rail safety) is a North American issue" Raitt told reporters Monday after a speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa.


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