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Rail Safety Series: SPJ


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Keeping vigil and keeping watch at St. Agnes Church in Lac-Megantic. Photo: Brian Mann
Keeping vigil and keeping watch at St. Agnes Church in Lac-Megantic. Photo: Brian Mann

In Lac-Megantic, first steps toward normal

The official death toll in Lac-Megantic Canada has risen to 35, following the deadly train explosion earlier this month that flattened a big part of the community's downtown.

Now the rural Canadian town is making its first, painful steps toward recovery.  Go to full article
Lac-Megantic burning on the first day after the rail car derailment sent fireballs and streams of burning oil coursing through the Quebec village.  (Photo:  Surete du Quebec)

In Lac-Megantic, grief and resilience

Back in July, a massive tanker train filled with petroleum from North Dakota derailed in a tiny town in Quebec.
Explosions and fire ripped through the village, killing 47 people and destroying the downtown of Lac-Megantic.

Brian Mann has been covering the aftermath of that disaster for NPR and North Country Public Radio.

He was in Quebec on assignment again over the weekend. He joined Martha Foley on the line from NCPR's bureau in Saranac Lake.  Go to full article
Federal officials in the US have raised concerns about the type of tanker car that erupted in Lac Megantic since at least 1991.  Photo: Brian Mann

Train tanker cars that exploded in Lac Megantic "inadequate"

It's been nearly three months since an American-operated tanker train derailed and exploded in the town of Lac Megantic in eastern Quebec. The Montreal-Maine and Atlantic train was carrying a cargo of crude oil and other chemicals from oil fields in North Dakota. The massive explosions that followed killed forty-seven people.

In the weeks after the disaster, it has become clear that the clean-up and recovery effort in Lac-Megantic will be far more costly and challenging than once believed. Also, investigators in the US and Canada now acknowledge that there were deep concerns about the safety of the tanker cars used by the railroad.

Those fears first surfaced decades before this deadly accident occurred. Brian Mann has our special report.  Go to full article
CSX's upgraded and faster rail crossing passes right by dozens of houses in Canton, including the 24 East Main Bed & Breakfast (green house). Photo: David Sommerstein.

Canton officials still have doubts over train speed increase

Yesterday, we heard about the efforts to rebuild the Quebec town of Lac Megantic, after a train explosion destroyed much of the village. That horrible accident makes any town...  Go to full article
A photo from a National Transportation Safety Board powerpoint from 2012 shows how DOT-111 tankers can puncture. Photo: NTSB.

"Inadequate" oil tankers rumble through Canton & North Country

There's been renewed attention to the safety of the freight trains that run through North Country towns. The horrible oil explosion that destroyed much of a Quebec village...  Go to full article

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