Railway car manufacturers won't talk safety despite concerns

Dozens of DOT-111 tankers parked on the railroad tracks. MAXIME LANDRY/QMI Agency

Dozens of DOT-111 tankers parked on the railroad tracks. MAXIME LANDRY/QMI Agency

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:12 PM ET

OTTAWA — The manufacturing of railway oil tanker cars in North America is a closely guarded secret.

The five companies that control the market refused to talk to QMI Agency about how many cars they can make in one year and how much production would cost.

Despite the fact it's been almost a year since the derailment disaster at Lac-Megantic Que., there is still no concrete timeline to replace the dangerous and aging fleet of DOT-111 tankers that transport millions of litres of crude across the country every year.

The vast majority of DOT-111 tankers on North American railroads have been called ticking time bombs because they puncture and explode more easily than the DOT-111s made after 2011.

Thomas Simpson, president of the Washington D.C.-based Railway Supply Institute, said there are five companies that make more than 95% of the North American oil tanker fleet.


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