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Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN


Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

Transportation Safety Board issues report on CN train collision


Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB) yesterday issued its investigation report into a 2014 collision between two CN trains in Montreal, Quebec, that resulted in a diesel-fuel spill.

The agency investigated the incident, in which a CN yard assignment train was traveling with 25 loaded cars on its freight track in the Montreal subdivision. The train ran through a stop signal and collided with the side of another CN train traveling in the opposite direction. No injuries were reported, but both trains sustained damages.

The TSB's investigation determined that, as the yard assignment train was approaching a junction between the freight track and a north track, the rail traffic controller (RTC) communicated with the crew to require them to copy instructions.

"During the following minutes, the crew prioritized the task of copying the RTC's instructions over the operation of the train and the observation of the track and applicable signals. Consequently, the stop signal was not identified resulting in the collision," TSB officials said in a press release.

The yard assignment train locomotives were controlled with a “Beltpack” remote control locomotive system. The railroad has not conducted a specific risk assessment for Beltpack operations on the subdivision, the agency’s report said.

"The investigation concluded that, if a thorough analysis of risks is not carried out for the operation of Beltpack trains on main track, the vulnerabilities involved in this type of operation will not be identified, and appropriate mitigation measures will not be implemented to protect the public," officials said.

Following railway signal indications is on the agency’s "watch list." The TSB has called for implementation of additional safety defenses to make sure railway signal indications that govern operating speed or operating limits are consistently recognized and followed, they added.