GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Citing a lack of firm action, the
Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is concerned there is no
clear strategy in place to address the rail safety issues identified by
Today, the TSB released its assessment of Transport Canada's response to
the three recommendations it made following its investigation into the
February 2012 VIA Rail Burlington accident (R12T0038). In that accident, three locomotive engineers died and dozens of
passengers were injured when VIA No. 92 derailed at a crossover en
route from Niagara Falls to Toronto.
"We think the TSB has made a compelling case for these recommendations.
They are definitely aimed at improving safety," said Wendy Tadros,
Chair of the TSB. "Two of these recommendations are on our Watchlist (Following signal indications and On-board voice and video recorders) and their implementation will bring down the risk of another accident
The first recommendation called upon Transport Canada to require
physical fail-safe train controls, beginning with Canada's high-speed
rail corridors (R13-01). Transport Canada is taking some action to study the issue, but the
TSB cautions that this study needs to result in a clear and definitive
action plan to ensure trains will automatically slow down and stop when
they are supposed to.
While Transport Canada accepted the second recommendation on in-cab
video cameras in locomotives (R13-02), it stopped short of requiring them, and instead as with voice
recordings, is encouraging voluntary installation. The TSB believes a
voluntary approach does not go far enough and will not ensure that the
vast majority of locomotives in Canada will be equipped with essential
On the other hand, the TSB is optimistic with the proposed action on its
third recommendation. Transport Canada plans to start the regulatory
process by March 2014, requiring that crashworthiness standards for new
locomotives also apply to rebuilt passenger and freight locomotives (R13-03).
"While it is positive that Transport Canada accepts the
recommendations," added Tadros, "Canadians deserve a clear strategy and
timely action plan to implement these recommendations."
The TSB will continue to monitor progress on these recommendations and
will reassess them on a regular basis.
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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