WINNIPEG, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - In its investigation report (R13W0124) released today, the
Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that inadequate
water drainage led to the collapse of an embankment, causing the
derailment of a VIA Rail (VIA) train near Togo, Saskatchewan.
On 28 April 2013, a westbound VIA train was passing over a raised
portion of CN track when the crew observed a section of track where
some of the roadbed ballast was missing. The train emergency brakes
were applied, but the train could not stop in time. As the train passed
over this location, the embankment further collapsed causing the 2
locomotives, a baggage car and the first passenger car to derail
upright. The fuel tanks on each VIA locomotive came into contact with
the rail causing the tanks to rupture. The diesel fuel-fed fire that
ensued damaged both locomotives. Although the locomotives had been
recently rebuilt, they were not equipped with newer puncture resistant
fuel tanks. VIA personnel and all passengers on board were safely
evacuated. There were no injuries.
A track inspection conducted about 4 hours before the arrival of the
train did not note any defects at this location. Subsequently, it was
determined that a culvert at the derailment location had been blocked
by an ice plug for some time. The plugged culvert, in combination with
a sudden, rapid melting of surface snow in the area, led to water
saturation and destabilization of the embankment. The embankment began
to fail prior to the passage of the train. The investigation determined
that the track inspectors responsible for this location had not
received any significant training in identifying indicators of
potential ground hazards. Without such training, track inspectors may
not detect unstable ground conditions in a timely manner, increasing
the risk of a derailment.
Following the occurrence, CN produced a video on spring readiness
inspections. Two supporting documents were produced, providing
additional information specific to signs of potential track embankment
instability. The material was provided to all track inspectors and
supervisors as a refresher.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline,
railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the
advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the
Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
For further information:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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