Canada reduces speed limit for dangerous goods

Canada has temporarily reduced the speed limit of freight trains carrying hazardous goods. This is in response to the derailment of a crude oil train on Thursday 6 February. A major fire broke out near the town of Guernsey and dozens of residents had to evacuate their homes.

Trains with large quantities of dangerous goods may not run faster than 40 kilometers per hour throughout Canada in the coming month. That period is shortened or extended depending on the outcome of the fire investigation.


The train carried hundred wagons, of which about thirty derailed. Slightly less than half of these caught fire, resulting in a thick black cloud of smoke in the area of Guernsey, situated in the central province of Saskatchewan.

It is already the second derailment of a crude oil train derailment in Canada in a short time. In December, nineteen wagons filled with oil got off the rails, 10 kilometers further away. It led to a huge fire and a leakage of around 1.5 million liters of crude oil.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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