Feds to accelerate phase out of risky DOT-111 oil rail cars

The unjacketed DOT-111 cars will be phased out by Nov. 1, 2016.

The aftermath of the Lac Megantic oil-by-rail disaster. Photo: Transportation Safety Board

The federal transportation minister Marc Garneau has announced the scheduled phase-out of DOT-111 train crude oil tanker cars will be phased out on an accelerated schedule.

The unjacketed DOT-111 cars will be phased out by Nov. 1, 2016. The accelerated schedule means some of the cars will be phased out six months ahead of schedule, and another type 16 months ahead of plans.

The tankers will be replaced by newer cars with more safety features, such as the TC-117. The newer cars have added safety features such as thicker steel, head shields, thermal protection and top fitting protection.

In a statement, Garneau said the change will help protect residents who live near rail lines. “Accelerating the phase out of legacy DOT-111 tank cars in crude oil services is another crucial step in improving the safety of communities along our railway lines. By removing the least crash resistant tank cars in service, we continue to modernize how dangerous goods are shipped in Canada and further protect Canadians and their families who live near Canada’s rail network.”