UPDATE 1-Canada to impose new speed limit for dangerous goods trains

Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:12pm EDT
 
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(Adds background, Raitt on what led to the order)

OTTAWA, April 23 (Reuters) - Canada will immediately impose a new speed limit of 40 mph (65 kph) for dangerous goods trains moving through urban areas with more than 100,000 people, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said on Thursday.

This is one of many measures the Conservative government has introduced since the July 2013 Lac Megantic oil-by-rail disaster in which 47 people died.

Raitt told a parliamentary committee that she would issue an emergency order later on Thursday. The current limit is 50 miles per hour although crude oil trains are already limited to 40 miles per hour.

Raitt said she decided to impose the emergency order after the government and rail companies disagreed in consultations over what the speed limit should be in urban areas.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)