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Judges in Quebec and U.S. approve US$16.85M sale of insolvent railway MM&A

MONTREAL - Bankruptcy judges in Quebec and Maine have approved the sale of the insolvent railway involved in last summer's deadly accident in Lac-Megantic, Que., that claimed 47 lives. Railroad Acquisition Holdings LLC, an affiliate of New York-based Fortress Investment Group, will pay US$16.85 million for the entire network in both countries, according to U.S. bankruptcy trustee Robert Keach. The winning bidder had also served as the "stalking horse" bidder, setting a minimum bid for the MN

U.S. mayors want surcharge on dangerous rail shipments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rail shipments of crude oil and other dangerous goods should face a surcharge when they move through urban areas, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several other big city mayors said on Thursday at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. A number of fiery derailments of crude-by-rail cargo in recent months have drawn attention from federal regulators who have vowed to keep train shipments safe.

Canada and US transportation safety boards call for tougher standards for rail tank cars

TORONTO - Transportation safety agencies in Canada and the United States on Thursday recommended tougher regulations for shipping crude oil by rail in the aftermath of a fatal train derailment in Quebec last year that killed 47 people. Canada's Transportation Safety Board, in conjunction with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, recommends that DOT-111 tanker cars used to carry oil and other flammable liquids must meet enhanced protection standards.

Winning bid for railway in fiery Lac-Megantic derailment was $15.9 million

PORTLAND, Maine - The Chapter 11 trustee says the winning bid for a Maine-based railroad that went bankrupt after a fiery oil train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., amounted to nearly $15.9 million. Robert Keach filed documents Wednesday outlining details a day before the winning bid goes before a U.S. bankruptcy judge in Maine and a Superior Court judge in Quebec.

Eurotunnel breaks through billion euro barrier

Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel achieved one billion euros in turnover in 2013 for the first time, the company said on Wednesday. That was an increase of 10.0 percent from the 2012 figure to 1.09 billion euros ($1.48 billion). The main reason for the growth in traffic was performance by rail freight operator Europorte, which turned in a year-on-year increase of 13.8 percent. High-speed train traffic through the tunnel increased also, by 1.3 percent. The tunnel runs beneath the sea between northern France and southern England. jul/bpi/dh/hd

Maine-based railroad in Canada derailment that killed 47 sold in closed-door auction

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine-based railroad that went bankrupt after a fiery oil train derailment killed 47 people last summer in Canada has been sold in a closed-door auction. One of the losing bidders in Tuesday's auction says a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group won the closed-door bidding for Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. Chapter 11 trustee Robert Keach has declined to comment on the proceedings but has said the goal is to recoup losses while keeping the railroad in operation. A Fortress spokesman hasn't returned a call seeking comment.

Railway in Lac-Megantic crash that killed 47 sold in closed-door auction

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine-based railway that went bankrupt after a fiery oil train derailment killed 47 people last summer in Lac-Megantic, Que., was sold at auction Tuesday to a subsidiary of a New York City-based investment management company. Railroad Acquisitions LLC, a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group, won the closed-door bidding for Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, according to one of the losing bidders. Details will be disclosed when the outcome is formally announced during court proceedings later this week in Maine and in Canada.

Exclusive: North Dakota governor: railcar safety standards for crude needed now

By Ernest Scheyder NEW YORK (Reuters) - Provisional safety standards for railcars carrying crude oil are needed as soon as possible, not next year as the U.S. Department of Transportation expects, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said in an interview on Tuesday. While Dalrymple has little power over federal regulators, his bully pulpit as head of the second-largest oil-producing state carries much weight as a national debate rages over the safety of shipping crude oil by rail.

Workers facing layoff at Regina steel mill given one-week reprieve

REGINA - Improved availability of rail cars has led to a one-week delay in implementation of a potential layoff affecting hundreds of workers at a Regina steel mill. More than 400 employees in Evraz North America's tubular steel division were issued a precautionary notice effective Jan. 20 over concerns that a lack of rolling stock to move pipe orders would force the company to halt production. The United Steelworkers union Local 5890 had said at the time that poor weather conditions in Eastern Canada were probably a factor in the shortage.

Regulator: 18 of 20 oil cars pierced in North Dakota crash

By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Eighteen of 20 tanker cars carrying oil that derailed in the fiery crash of two trains in North Dakota in late December were punctured, spilling more than 400,000 gallons of crude oil, safety regulators reported on Monday. In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the oil train heading east struck a derailed car from a westbound grain train, leading to the derailment and fire about a mile outside the small town of Casselton, North Dakota, on December 30.
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