Rail news release 2012

Glencoe July 2011 crossing collision highlights TSB watchlist issue

Gatineau, Quebec, 4 October 2012 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released its final investigation report (R11T0175) into the 29 July 2011 crossing collision between a VIA Rail Canada Inc. passenger train and a pick-up truck near Glencoe, Ontario. The accident took the life of the driver of the truck and injured 6 of the train passengers.

VIA Rail passenger train 71 was travelling westward on Canadian National's south main track when it struck the pick-up truck on the Pratt Siding Road crossing located near the town of Glencoe, Ontario. The locomotive and all 4 coaches derailed, with some coaches fouling the north main track. The Pratt Siding road crossing was equipped with a stop sign as buildings along the east side of the road and vegetation along the track and in the fields prevent northbound vehicle drivers from noticing approaching westward trains well in advance of the crossing. The investigation found that the vehicle driver did not stop at the stop sign but applied brakes just prior to reaching the crossing when he became aware of the oncoming train. This investigation and other research on driver behavior shows that only 60% of drivers stop at railway-highway crossing stop signs.

Passengers Trains Colliding with Vehicles is identified as an issue on the TSB's Watchlist. The Watchlist is a list of issues that the TSB has determined pose the most serious risk to Canada's transportation system. Over the past 10 years, there have been 257 accidents involving passenger trains colliding with vehicles at level crossings in Canada. While some TSB recommendations have been addressed, a number of open recommendations remain. The accident rate has not been significantly reduced since the TSB first placed this issue on the 2010 Watchlist.

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