Chemical producers are buying as many mid-level tankers as they can find until supercars with double hulls and extensive safety features get thorough testing and go into production, reports The Canadian Press.
Following the July 6, 2013 derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, chemical producers have been under pressure to tighten safety, but many industry players say progress will take time due to design, development and testing that needs to take place for new advanced supercars.
So far, only a few advanced units, which cost 2 1/2 times that of a conventional car, have been manufactured for testing.
One company, for example, is spending about $75-million over five years to replace about 500 tank cars in its fleet with interim cars each costing about $150,000.
The leaders of the association that includes both of Canada’s largest railways as members acknowledged that safety is a big issue since the derailment that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, but said that Canada’s railways are among the safest in the world for transporting dangerous goods.