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    117.340
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  • OTRI.USA
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    -0.080
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  • OTVI.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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    0.000
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  • ITVI.USA
    16,030.520
    117.340
    0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.809
    0.016
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
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  • OTVI.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Canada launches $55m rail safety program

Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport, this week announced the new Rail Safety Improvement Program, which aims to fund projects that will reduce incidents and derailments along the country’s railroad lines.

   The Canadian government is launching a $55 million program aimed at improving railroad safety across the country, Transport Canada said in a statement.
   Announced earlier this week by Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, the new Rail Safety Improvement Program (RSIP) will look to fund projects to reduce incidents and derailments along Canada’s railroad lines.
   In addition to increasing overall rail safety funding, the RSIP expands the list of eligible recipients and broadens the scope of projects eligible for funding, according to Transport Canada.
   The new program will look to improve rail transportation safety in two primary tranches: infrastructure, technology and research activities; and public education and awareness.
   Minister Garneau called for proposals for 2017-18 under both areas of RSIP funding. Applicants can range from provinces, territories, municipalities and local governments; to road/transit authorities and Crown Corporations; for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; indigenous groups, communities and organizations; and individuals.
   Funding through RSIP will support safety improvements including but not limited to “flashing lights, bells and/or gates; the use of innovative technologies; outreach, promotional awareness, educational activities and public service announcements, research and studies; as well as the closures of grade crossings that present safety concerns,” the department said.
   The latest program comes on the heels of Canada’s previous rail safety initiatives, which include the Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP), the Grade Crossing Closure Program (GCCP), and Operation Lifesaver.  
   Transport Canada is currently funding over 380 existing grade crossing improvement projects across the country under the existing programs.
   Two major Class I railroads, Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway, serve the country’s rail market, along with several regional and short line operators.
   Rail safety has been front of mind for Canada ever since the devastating derailment of a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway crude oil train in downtown Lac-Mégantic Quebec in July of 2013. The train’s cars were compromised in the incident, causing their highly flammable contents to spill out, and the resulting explosion and fire left 47 people dead and much of the downtown area destroyed.
   The Canadian government in February 2016 announced it would provide federal funding to support a new bureau to oversee the reconstruction and economic recovery of the city over the next three years. The Economic Recovery Initiative for Lac-Mégantic (ERILM) has a total budget of $35 million, as announced in December 2013, and over $155 million has been disbursed by the Government of Canada to help the community of Lac-Mégantic since July 2013, according to Transport Canada.
  “Canadians rely on our rail system to be safe. As I’ve said many times, rail safety is my top priority, and I remain committed to reducing the number of accidents and incidents on Canada’s rail lines and over 20,000 federally regulated crossings,” Garneau said of the RSIP. “There are new technologies to improve railway safety that have proven effective, and through this new program, we can invest in them and expand their use nationwide.”

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