Rail service resumes in Lac-Megantic for first time since July's fatal disaster

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. - Trains are rolling through Lac-Megantic, Que. for the first time since last summer's deadly rail disaster.

Rail service resumed today in the town where a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in July — killing 47 people.

The crash also destroyed part of Lac-Megantic's downtown core.

Many locals are still trying to cope with the disaster and have mixed feelings about the train's return to the railway-dependent community.

Businesses along the railroad say the service is vital for the town economy.

The gradual return of freight trains to Lac-Megantic must follow strict rules and conditions.

For now, no dangerous substances will be transported through the town, which is about 250 kilometres east of Montreal.

The track is still owned by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway — the company at the heart of the disaster.

The insolvent railway is expected to be sold in the coming weeks.

Transport Canada placed several conditions on the operator — including the obligation for trains to slow down and make full stops at certain crossings.

In some cases, locomotive employees will have to get out and check the crossing manually to make sure everything is safe and secure.

The speed limit will be 16 km/h on certain parts of the track.


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