Lac-Magentic, Que., residents want rail line rerouted

Explosion caused by the derailment of a train carrying crude oil in Lac Megantic, Que., early...

Explosion caused by the derailment of a train carrying crude oil in Lac Megantic, Que., early Saturday, July 6, 2013. (Photo courtesy Yves Guertin)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

OTTAWA - The new incarnation of the bankrupt railway at the centre of last summer's tragedy at Lac-Megantic, Que., recently received the right to operate in Quebec, but the small town's residents don't care, city spokesman Louis Longchamps said.

What residents really care about is rerouting the tracks away from downtown, Longchamps said.

The Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) owned the crude-carrying runaway train that derailed near the downtown core of Lac-Megantic, then exploded and caused the death of 47 residents last July.

Railway Acquisition Holdings, which is owned by New York City-based Fortress Investment Group, bought the assets of MMA in Dec. 2013.

MMA's assets were renamed Central Maine & Quebec Railway and on Wednesday the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) said that the new company has enough insurance to operate in Quebec.

The so-called "Certificate of Fitness" given by the CTA means nothing to the people of Lac-Megantic, Longchamps said, because the old company also had a certificate to operate and part of Lac-Megantic's downtown was destroyed anyway.


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