Gogama fire chief asks for more than DOT-111 tanker phase out
Tankers that carried crude oil in recent derailments will be phased out or scrapped by 2025
This week, the federal government announced DOT-111 rail cars will be phased out sooner than expected.
DOT-111 rail cars were involved in the deadly rail disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec three years ago.
A similar model of rail cars transported crude oil in derailments near the northern Ontario community of Gogama — including two last year that spilled more than 100,000 litres of crude oil.
- Gogama train derailments: Questions linger one year later
- Train carrying crude oil derails near Gogama, Ont.
Although he was critical of CN and their handling of local derailments, Gogama fire chief Mike Benson said he believes rail companies and the federal government want to make it safer to transport goods.
"The financial aspect is what's holding everything back here," Benson said, "but certainly, CN recognizes that it's in their best interest not to have derailments. The federal government certainly understands that."
In March, Benson said that CN was keeping his people from seeing the derailment site during its investigation, which bred mistrust in the community.
And considering that his community has seen two derailments in a short period, Benson said that phasing out the rail cars is a step in the right direction, but other aspects of rail transportation need to be considered.
"I think the infrastructure, the [rail] track system, the maintenance that they're doing on the track system, and I think they really have to look at the speeds when [the trains are] going through municipalities," Benson said.
Marc Garneau, the federal transport minister, said by 2025 no flammable liquids will be permitted to be transported by rail car.
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.
With files from Martha Dillman. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges