Thursday, August 22, 2013

CP ordered to interchange trains with MM&A

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Canadian Pacific said Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, that it has been ordered by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to interchange traffic with short line railroad Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MM&A), "effective immediately."

On Aug. 13, CP issued an embargo regulating the interchange of all traffic to and from the Hermon, Maine-based MM&A. "This was in response to the same-day decision by the CTA to withdraw MM&A's certificate of fitness. The CTA's decision suspended MM&A's ability to operate a railway," CP points out.

CTA's action was based in part on its belief that MM&A lacked adequate insurance coverage following the July 6 derailment and explosion of MM&A equipment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

Canadian Pacific adds that CTA "modified its decision on August 16, 2013 to permit MM&A to continue to operate until October 1, 2013, conditional upon MM&A proving adequate insurance.

"CP expressed its concerns regarding the fitness of MM&A to safely handle hazardous substances, including the crude oil currently under investigation in the Lac Megantic derailment. The CTA dismissed CP's arguments and ordered CP to lift the embargo, the Class I railroad adds.

"While we disagree with this order, we have taken immediate steps to comply," said CP CEO E. Hunter Harrison in a statement. "The CTA, as federal regulator, has satisfied itself that MM&A is fit to operate and has adequate insurance to do so. We will review our legal options."