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TSB: Sudden track failure led to CN train derailment


Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigators determined that a sudden track failure likely led to the main track train derailment of a CN train in Kitwanga, British Columbia, on Jan. 7.

The incident occurred in the Bulkley Subdivision. The train comprised two locomotives and 90 loaded cars, and 34 cars loaded with wood pellets derailed. There were no injuries and there was no environmental impact, TSB investigators said in their report.

"Video and audio recordings from the lead locomotive suggests that a sudden track failure occurred," the report states. "Given the annual tonnage on the Bulkley Subdivision and the frequency of loaded unit train operations, it is likely that bulk unit train traffic accelerated the development and deterioration of priority wide-gauge conditions in the 6° LH curve where the derailment occurred."

In its safety message, the TSB concluded: "Emerging wide-gauge conditions can progress quickly, particularly on track where bulk unit trains operate, making increased inspection and timely repairs a necessity for safe railway operations."

To read the full TSB report, click here.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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