GATINEAU, QC, Jan. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - In its investigation report
(R11Q0056) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada
(TSB) found defective brakes caused a Quebec North Shore and Labrador
Railway iron ore train to run away down a steep grade near Dorée,
Quebec, on 11 December 2011. Braking-system defects were not found by
the standard inspections before departure.
While descending a steep slope, the locomotive engineer had to use
emergency brakes to stop the train, as he could not control its speed
using the normal braking system. After stopping the train, the
locomotive engineer secured the train by using the hand brakes and
waited for assistance. An hour later, the train began to move. Despite
the locomotive engineer's attempts to stop the train, it travelled
almost 15 miles, reaching a maximum speed of 63 mph. The train stopped
at the bottom of the slope. There were no injuries and no derailment.
The investigation found that braking system inspections by the railway
company were insufficient. Only a few of the iron ore cars had their
braking systems thoroughly checked before putting them into service.
Inspectors used inadequate pre-departure inspection methods. This led
to braking system leaks and defects not being detected.
Following the incident, the Newfoundland and Labrador government ordered
thorough brake inspections on each of the iron ore cars. The company
completed all the necessary work for the cars to comply with
Association of American Railroads standards.
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
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