Railway Investigation R17Q0061

Uncontrolled movement

The occurrence

On 25 July 2017, a Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Co. (QNS&L) train crew left 159 loaded cars on the main track of the Wacouna Subdivision near Mai, Quebec, to perform a switching operation. During the process, the cut of cars began to roll southwards and passed signal 1286, which was displaying a STOP signal. A crew member was able to intervene and initiate an emergency brake application, stopping the cut of cars. No injuries or collision were reported, and no dangerous goods were involved. The TSB is investigating.

Map of the area

Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Ian Perkins

Ian Perkins began his railway career as a conductor at Canadian Pacific (CP). In 2009, he completed the locomotive engineer training program and in 2011 began working as a rules instructor. As a rules instructor, he trained and recertified both conductors and locomotive engineers. After working for nearly 10 years at CP, he joined the TSB as a senior regional investigator for Rail and Pipeline in the Quebec Region. He holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce from Concordia University and a certificate in Transportation Logistics from McGill University.

Transportation Safety Board investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation:

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

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.