News release

Roller bearing failure and subsequent burnt-off axle journal contributed to 2013 derailment near Sudbury, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario, 30 October 2014 – In its report released today (R13T0122), the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) identified the catastrophic failure of a roller bearing and subsequent burnt-off axle journal on the first car behind the locomotives as contributing factors in a June 2013 derailment near Sudbury, Ontario.

On 2 June 2013, a Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) freight train was heading north on the Parry Sound Subdivision when 6 intermodal cars derailed as the train approached the bridge over the Wanapitei River. Some of the derailed cars impacted and severely damaged the bridge while a number of the cars and containers fell down the embankment and into the river. No injuries were reported.

The investigation also determined that when reconditioned roller bearing components are used, bearing service life is further reduced. Because the roller bearing failed between CP hotbox detector (HBD) stations, the investigation further concluded that when HBD systems are not configured for real-time monitoring and data trending, roller bearings which are beginning to fail may not be detected before failure.

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