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Federal officials say spruce budworm program to move forward quickly

FREDERICTON - Federal officials travelled to Fredericton today to discuss the spruce budworm initiative included in last week's federal budget. Ottawa is setting aside 18 million dollars to develop and implement the early intervention program over the next four years. Rob Moore, regional minister for New Brunswick, says the initiative will be led by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in Atlantic Canada and by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec in Quebec.

Irving Oil to convert railcar fleet, remove older cars from service

SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Irving Oil said Monday it will remove from its fleet the same type of railcar involved in the deadly train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., last summer. The company said it will convert its fleet of crude oil railcars to comply with U.S. standards for DOT-111 tank cars built after Oct. 1, 2011, and remove the older cars from service.

Railway involved in Lac-Megantic disaster to get new name after sale: report

MONTREAL - The company at the centre of the train derailment that killed 47 people and destroyed part of Lac-Megantic, Que., last July, is reportedly getting a new name. The Bangor Daily News said Friday the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway will become known as the Central Maine and Quebec Railway when its sale is finalized. It is being sold to Railroad Acquisition Holdings, an affiliate of New York-based Fortress Investment Group. A consultant working with Fortress on the railway purchase confirmed the new name to the newspaper in an email.

China plans to build world's longest underwater tunnel

China plans to build the world's longest underwater tunnel, an expert involved in the project told AFP Friday, a $36 billion shortcut between two northern port cities in an earthquake-prone region. The scheme will see cars loaded onto railway carriages before travelling at 220 kilometres per hour (136 miles per hour) along the 123-kilometre tunnel connecting Dalian in Liaoning province and Yantai in Shandong province.

U.S. rail-industry group calls for even more stringent tanker standards

WASHINGTON - It's only been a few weeks since Canadian policy-makers announced safety changes to rail cars, but elements within the industry already want to go further. An industry association in the U.S. is recommending all new oil-carrying train cars be equipped with a thicker, puncture-proof metal shell, taller shields on each end and thermal insulation. The request comes in a letter today to the U.S. transportation secretary from the Railway Supply Institute, the main group representing companies that build freight trains and supply railways.

UK government picks Bombardier for rail contract worth US$1.6 billion

MONTREAL - Bombardier Transportation appears to have solidified the future of its British rail plant in Derby after being selected as the winning bidder in a US$1.6-billion contract to supply trains and a depot for London's transportation system. The British government announced Thursday that it intends to award the contract to Bombardier, after a 10-day waiting period. Under the deal, Bombardier's rail division will supply 65 trains and a maintenance depot for Crossrail that is set to open in 2018.

Siemens sticks to forecasts after solid first quarter

German engineering giant Siemens said on Tuesday it was sticking to its full-year forecast after a "solid" first quarter. Siemens, which runs its business year from October to September, said it "expects our markets to remain challenging in fiscal 2014." In some of its short-cycle businesses, the group was "not anticipating a recovery until late in the fiscal year," it said.

19 workers suffer carbon monoxide poisoning in Channel tunnel

Nineteen workers suffered carbon monoxide poisoning while working overnight in the Channel tunnel, with one of them seriously affected, French officials said Sunday. Sixty people, including workers from a company commissioned by Eurotunnel and Eurotunnel employees, were in the process of changing rails on the line between the towns of Calais in France and Folkestone in Britain when a welder took ill overnight Saturday, said officials from France's Pas-de-Calais department.

U.S. announces new rule for improving rail safety standards

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Friday announced a new rule intended to improve railway safety and lower the risk of derailments, in part by requiring more frequent track inspections and prompt repairs when flaws are detected. The rule change followed a review that started in October 2012 and took into consideration a number of railroad accidents in the United States dating back to a 2001 Amtrak derailment in Iowa in which one person was killed and 78 were injured.

Ontario orders new GO Transit rail cars from Bombardier Transportation

MONTREAL - The Ontario government says it's placing an order for new GO Transit suburban rail cars to be built at Bombardier Transportation's plant in Thunder Bay, Ont. The order could be worth up to $481 million if the government buys all 140 cars. So far, it has placed firm orders for 65 of the two-level passenger cars and taken out options for another 75. Montreal-based Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) says the firm order is worth $190 million. Deliveries are expected to begin in June 2016.
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