Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau says starting in November, tank cars like those involved in the deadly rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Que. will no longer be allowed to transport oil in Canada.
The DOT-111 cars will be phased out for the carrying of oil six months earlier than planned for “non-jacketed” cars — those without a layer of thermal protection — and 16 months earlier than cars with jackets. By 2025, it will be prohibited to transport any flammable liquids in the cars, Garneau said.
Garneau said about 28,000 DOT-111 railcars are still in use, travelling between Canada and the United States. He said the cars may be upgraded, used to transport other goods or sold to be scrapped.
Trains coming from the U.S. will be monitored to ensure they comply with the new rules.
According to the Transportation Safety Board, the cars don’t provide adequate safeguards against fire and increase the risk of explosions.
Accident investigators have said for decades that the DOT-111 railcars are easily punctured or ruptured, even in low-speed impacts.
A new class of tank car, the TC-117, was unveiled in May 2015 and is described as having a thicker steel hull, thermal protection to increase the ability to withstand fire, a full head shield, protective valve covers and a bottom outlet valve for safety.
The Railway Association of Canada, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific applauded the move.