Canadian Pacific appeals ministerial order on handbrakes

By Charles Lefebvre
March 9, 2019 - 9:45am

CALGARY, AB — Canadian Pacific Railway announced Friday it plans to appeal a ministerial order from Transport Canada requiring the use of handbrakes on all trains that are stopped on mountain slopes.

Transport Canada issued the order for all rail companies on February 8 in the wake of a deadly train derailment near Field B.C. last month. It will remain in effect until Transportation Minister Marc Garneau lifts it.

A Canadian Pacific Railway train started moving on its own while parked with its airbrakes engaged, before derailing. Three workers were killed in the derailment. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

“CP remains steadfast in our commitment to safety, across our entire operation,” said CP’s President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel in a statement. “Safety is one of our foundational principles and we remin laser-focused on continued improvement in this area. The application of handbrakes in accordance with the Ministerial Order introduces additional risks and will have unintended consequences. We are seeking a review of the Ministerial Order because we firmly believe safer options are available and we must get this right.”

The statement adds CP will continue to comply with the ministerial order through the appeal and cooperate with the ongoing investigation and with Transport Canada.

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