The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Transportation agency OKs Canadian operations for new owner of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic

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MONTREAL - The company that took over partial control of the railway at the centre of last year's disaster in Lac-Megantic has been given the green light to operate in Canada.

The Canadian Transportation Agency granted the certificate of fitness for railway operation to Central Maine & Quebec Railway today after determining it had adequate liability coverage.

Central Maine & Quebec Railway has so far taken over the U.S. operations of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway.

The sale of MMA's Canadian operations was pending upon approval of the operational fitness certificate.

A runaway Montreal, Maine and Atlantic train loaded with fuel oil careened into Lac-Megantic in the wee hours of last July 6 and jumped its tracks, exploding into a massive fireball that destroyed much of the downtown core.

Forty-seven people were killed.

The certificate will take effect when the transaction is completed.

Central Maine has been able to operate MMA's trains up to this point because the former railway's certificates are still valid.

In the wake of the tragedy, the transportation agency yanked the permission for MMA and its Canadian subsidiary to operate in Canada because it deemed it didn't have sufficient insurance.

The agency later reinstated the operating certificate to the railroad.

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