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Safer Oil-Train Cars, Brakes Mandated Two Years After Quebec

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Almost two years after an unattended oil train derailed and exploded in Quebec, killing 47 people, the U.S. and Canadian governments jointly set new rules designed to reduce the risks of hauling crude by rail.

Newly built tank cars must have thicker steel walls, more protection at the ends, and thermal blankets designed to reduce the risk of explosion. Tankers now in use would have to start being replaced or retrofitted in 2017. Four years later, electronically controlled brakes would be required in some cases when U.S. trains are pulling 70 or more cars of the most hazardous cargo.