Montreal Maine & Atlantic General Electric C30-7 number 5017 - 10 Jun 2012 Richard Marchi.
23 July 2014
Lake Megantic Lead Locomotive Pulled from Auction Block by Quebec Police
Milo Maine USA - Quebec provincial police seized the lead locomotive in the Lake Megantic freight-train disaster on Wednesday, before it could be auctioned off.
The General Electric model C30-7 unit was one of 28 locomotives from the defunct Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) to be sold off in Maine next month.
Illinois-based auctioneer Adam Jokisch told QMI Agency that provincial police contacted his office on Wednesday to demand the 67-foot-long engine be pulled off the block.
"Apparently, provincial police seized the locomotive for more investigation or for the trials," said Jokisch.
An MMA train engineer and two colleagues face dozens of counts of criminal negligence causing death in the derailment and explosion that killed 47 people last July in Canada's deadliest railway blast.
MMA, faced with wrongful death suits and massive insurance claims, went bankrupt last year and was sold to the Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQ).
The buyer has said it will purchase new locomotives to replace MMA's aging equipment.
MMA's ragtag fleet will go up for auction at a railway yard in Milo, Maine, on 5 Aug 2014.
At least one other locomotive involved in the Lake Megantic disaster was still on the block as of Wednesday.
Some of the units date back to 1976, but the auctioneer says their age won't deter other railways or leasing companies.
"Locomotives, you can just keep replacing them, and rebuilding them, and keep reusing them," said Jokisch.