Rail news release 2012

Train separation caused September 2011 derailment near Tika, Quebec

Gatineau, Quebec, 29 November 2012 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (R11Q0050) today concerning the 26 September 2011 derailment near Tika, Quebec, of a freight train operated by the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (QNS&L).

The train was travelling toward Sept-Îles, Quebec, and, as it was passing through the Tika Station area, the emergency brakes were unexpectedly applied. The locomotive came to a stop and 17 cars derailed.

The TSB investigation revealed that despite regular inspection, incorrect positioning of the carrier plates in car 23 had never been detected. Car 23's knuckle pin fell out of the carrier plate, causing the train to separate. Given that the forward section of the train slowed faster than the rear, the two sections collided, causing the train to derail.

Following this accident, the TSB issued a rail safety advisory to Transport Canada, including the results of the train car examination performed at the Sept-Îles Yard. Transport Canada conducted a special inspection of the QNS&L cars and found that 24 other cars had incorrectly positioned carrier plates. Further to this inspection, the QNS&L implemented new train car inspection and repair procedures that now include verification of carrier-plate positioning.

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