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Claude Dauphin, the president of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities, said the new rail safety group wants to have formal recommendations submitted to the federal government in November. (CBC)

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has added its voice to calls for swift federal action on rail safety.

The organization, which has close to 2,000 member communities, has formed a rail safety working group.

Claude Dauphin, the federation's president, says the goal is to have formal recommendations submitted to the federal government in November.

But towns and cities first need to know what their dealing with, said Dauphin.

"I think we have the right to know, we have the need to know what dangerous goods are being moved through our communities so we can plan and be prepared for emergencies," he said.

A total of 47 people were killed in the July 6 blasts after a train carrying crude oil derailed and set off a series of explosions at the centre of Lac-Mégantic, Que.

A Senate committee study launched months before the fatal train disaster urges the federal government to launch a major review of Canada's railway regulations, to better ensure the safe transport of dangerous goods.

The report released last Thursday by the energy, environment and natural resources committee contains 13 recommendations related to the transportation of crude oil and natural gas by railways, pipelines and tankers.

The leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Philippe Couillard, has proposed the creation of an expert panel with representatives of all levels of government to address the future of Lac-Mégantic and rail transport in Quebec.