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Runaway train in Quebec spotlights Wild West-era brakes Published: July 11, 2013

Canada’s worst rail disaster since 1910 highlights a risk that has dogged railroads for more than a century: brake failures on runaway trains, Bloomberg News reports.

Rail safety consultants say securing two types of brakes -- air and hand -- would have averted the wreck in Quebec that killed as many as 50 people. An engineer failed to properly set the hand brakes on the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. train whose 72 cars rolled from a parking spot into downtown Lac-Megantic on July 6, according to the head of the railroad.

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