• Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

  • Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).
Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

Moderator: MEC407

  by MEC407
From the Portland Press Herald:
Portland Press Herald wrote:Canadian Pacific contends it bears no responsibility for the fiery disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in 2013 and puts the blame squarely on the railroad whose runaway train derailed.

But attorney Peter Flowers, who is based in Chicago, said Tuesday that Canadian Pacific knew the crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region was unstable before handing it off to another railroad, which he described as “incompetent.”

“They acted horribly without regard for the welfare of human beings, and we’re going to hold them responsible for what they did in front of a jury of 12 people in the state of Illinois,” he said.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/10/13/l ... -railroad/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by CLamb
I notice the Transportation Safety Board blamed the crew for not properly setting the brakes. They didn't seem to consider that someone may have wandered by afterward and taken off one or more brakes. Isn't this a possibility?
  by JimBoylan
Has there been any claim from the crew that he set any more than the 7 brakes that the Transportation Safety Board reports, based on inspection after the accident?
  by MEC407
From the Portland Press Herald:
Portland Press Herald wrote:A settlement fund for victims of the Canadian oil train disaster that killed 47 people remains on track, and payments to settle wrongful death claims will be delivered next month, a U.S. bankruptcy trustee said.
. . .
The settlement fund is worth $457 million in Canadian dollars. About $113 million of it will go to settle wrongful death claims, and the wrongful death trustee will begin distributing those checks by the end of January, Keach said.
. . .
While it may seem that the process has dragged on, the bankruptcy case was resolved quickly considering the legal complexities and the fact that parties are located on both sides of the border.
. . .
But the settlement doesn’t mark the end.

Canadian Pacific is the only party with potential liability to decline to contribute to the settlement fund, and lawsuits against the railroad are now moving forward in several jurisdictions.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/12/11/c ... s-trustee/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Zeke
Yep good old EHH. He will battle them lawyers to the bitter end. Read in The Globe and Mail the trial date was supposed to be set for MMA engineer Harding on Dec 1. His lawyer made a statement to the effect the government is making his client the scapegoat in order to give cover to negligence on the part of the TSB to oversee the MMA's rather loose interpretation of Canadian operating rules and practices.
  by MEC407
From the Bangor Daily News:
Bangor Daily News wrote:Winning back the people affected by the Lac-Megantic tragedy has put the new company on the fast track to recovery, according to Giles.

“The railroad was severed in the middle so after the tragedy, basically we were running two railroads,” Giles said. “There was a chasm of a mile and a half in the middle. You couldn’t move traffic through the city.

“We patched it up, and then we negotiated what we call a social compact with the city of [Lac-] Megantic, and that was something we thought was necessary because those people had been through so much,” Giles said.

“And in it, we promised not to move any hazardous goods through the city unless and until we had completed our first year of capital [improvements], and we had satisfied ourselves that the track was safe and people were trained and that we could do so without having our hearts in our mouth,” he said.

“Now we move hazardous goods through [Lac-] Megantic and we have a very good relationship,” Giles said.

An exception of the restored ties with Lac-Megantic, however, is crude oil.

Chief Administrative Officer Gaynor Ryan said Central Maine and Quebec has opted not to ship crude oil through Lac-Megantic in 2016 out of respect for the community.

Conrad Lebrun, director of buildings and projects for Lac-Megantic, said that the moratorium on shipping crude oil through the community came at the city’s request.

“Back before they started operations again, we cited a social compact with them to have freedom to go back on rails again and to have a moratorium on crude oil until the end of 2016,” Lebrun said.

Lebrun agreed that Central Maine and Quebec and the city have developed a good working relationship.

“It is good,” he said. “We have access to CMQ representatives. When we need to, we call them and they call us right back and we work issues out well. We expect it to keep going in the future.”
Read the rest of the article at: http://bangordailynews.com/2016/02/15/b ... f=comments" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by BostonUrbEx
Can CMQ actually bar hazardous materials on the route if they are a common carrier? I don't see how they could legally not accept hazardous material for a year and then not accept oil trains (not that there are any at the current price of foreign oil!) for an additional year. How did they go about this?
  by KSmitty
Canadian laws are different than US laws. The railroad can embargo, or can simply price themselves out of the market. Thats what railroads on this side of the border do, if they don't want to haul something they just set their rates for the move above the amount at which it would be feasible.
  by Zeke
Nosing around the internet after an hour or so found a April 2 article in the Globe and Mail that said MMA engineer Harding's lawyer had enough and was going to apply for dismissal of the criminal charges stating there was no evidence of criminal intent on the part of Mr. Harding. Sure is quiet regarding this whole incident after the press had gone hog wild for several months. Now it seems to have completely dropped off the radar.
  by Gilbert B Norman
TRAINS Newswire reports that the Town of Lac-Mègantic has withdrawn their lawsuit for damages against the Canadian Pacific.

According to the report, the train originated on the CP (actually, on the SOO), and the contention was the train should have been more thoroughly inspected (not stated of course is that there were deep pockets to pick):

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... an-pacific" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;?

Fair Use:
LAC-MÉGANTIC, Quebec — Council members in the city of Lac-Mégantic have voted to drop a lawsuit against Canadian Pacific Railway, the Montreal Gazette reports. The city was suing the Class I railroad for damages incurred during the fatal crude oil train disaster in 2013.

Lac-Mégantic Mayor Jean-Guy Cloutier says it would cost a considerable amount of money to pay experts when there is no guarantee the town would win.

“There are many reasons for this decision,” Cloutier says in a statement. “We thought long and hard about it and reached the conclusion the risks of such action were too high in terms of the costs to the community.”
Not stated were two pertinent facts. First is that the train originated on the SOO Line - Canadian Pacific's US subsidiary operating all US lines, thereby affording Canadian Pacific Ltd. no standing in the matter. Secondly the Town's Avocat d'entreprise should have been aware that even though Canadian Pacific Ltd. did handle the train as in intermediate (bridge) road, liability for torts rests solely with the road, absent a high standard of gross negligence, with the road on which the tortuous act occurred.

While not for one moment am I excusing the Gross Negligence on the part of Montreal Maine & Atlantic-Canada, that carcass has been picked clean. That public funding has been made available to injured parties is a matter between the legislative representatives and the people who elected them to afford such representation.
  by Gilbert B Norman
The answer Mr. O' Keefe, is I know not.

But both the US Corporation and it's Canadian Sub have petitioned and have been adjudged as Bankrupt.

Of course the Plantiffs will try any course to pursue their claims; with standing or otherwise. But some of their reachings suggest they have little.knowledge of the Mandatories set forth by the AAR.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. O'Keefe. As the originating road, SOO had the responsibility to ensure the cars were proprely placarded under IAW the Grazziano Tariff or other applicable Federal law. The cars were properly placarded.

Should there be a separate HAZMAT classification for Bakken crude is a whole separate subject.

Therefore, since the only party with actions arising to the high standard of Gross Negligence was the MMA-C, I cannot imagine the SOO would have any more liability attached.
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