Rail news release 2009

TSB # R01/2009

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA RELEASES FINAL INVESTIGATION REPORT INTO THE APRIL 2007 TRAIN DERAILMENT IN TRAIL, BRITISH COLUMBIA

(Gatineau. Quebec, March 24, 2009) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its final investigation report into the April 23, 2007 train derailment in Trail, British Columbia. The Board is satisfied that improvements made as a result of its investigation will help ensure that trains can safely descend steep mountain grades.

During the course of the investigation, Transport Canada issued a Notice and Order requiring that crews operating trains on the 4.1 per cent grade between Warfield and Trail ensure that brake pressure retainers are functioning properly and set correctly. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has since amended its procedures to comply.

Additionally, Transport Canada agreed with a TSB Rail Safety Advisory regarding the absence of the dynamic brake holding feature on both locomotives involved in this derailment. As such, Transport Canada is proposing a regulatory amendment to require that locomotives with a dynamic brake holding feature be operated on territories with a grade of 2 per cent or greater.

On April 23, 2007, a train with two locomotives, eight loaded hopper cars and three residue tank cars ran uncontrolled down the 4.1 per cent grade between Warfield and Trail. This led to the derailment of the two locomotives and the eight hopper cars. A foreman and helper had detrained before the derailment and sustained minor injuries. The locomotive engineer remained on board and sustained fatal injuries.

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.

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To arrange a telephone interview, please call:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053


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.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca