Feds issue emergency order to rail carrier
to remove faulty wheels
June 13, 2008
Source: Canadian Press
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— The federal government has ordered CN Rail to find and remove
potentially faulty wheels from its trains.
CN says it will comply with the order.
The emergency safety directive from Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon
comes after the Transportation Safety Board warned thousands of wheel
sets could cause derailments.
The board called for the removal of 12,000 wheel sets still in use on
some Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP), Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR)
and U.S. freight cars.
"The safety and security of Canadians is our number one priority, and
our government is acting to make our railways as safe as possible,"
Cannon said in a written statement.
"By issuing this emergency directive, I want to ensure every possible
measure is taken to prevent potential derailments related to faulty
The federal order gives Canadian National until Oct. 15 to switch the
potentially dangerous wheel sets.
The Transport Department says the deadline gives CN the time needed to
track all the wheels throughout Canada.
And CN spokesman Bryan Tucker says the company will meet the deadline.
"CN has been aware of and has been addressing the wheel set issue since
2001," he said.
"We've worked continually to remove them from service and we'll comply
fully with all the requirements of the Transport Canada directive."
The suspect wheel sets were assembled at CN's Transcona wheel shop
between April 1, 1998, and Feb. 28, 2001.
In issuing the order, Cannon said he wants to prevent any future
derailments related to faulty wheels.
In a June 5 report, the safety board blamed loose wheels for a 2006
derailment involving a CP Rail freight train near Buckskin, Ont.