The effects of defective train wheels on rail at the heart of 2014 CP accident near Keyes, Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba, 14 July 2015 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (R14W0041) into the 15 February 2014 derailment of a Canadian Pacific (CP) freight train near Keyes, Manitoba.
The freight train originated at Bredenbury, Saskatchewan and was destined for St. Paul, Minnesota. The train consisted of 2 locomotives, 50 loaded cars and 22 empty cars. It was 4403 feet long and weighed 7363 tons.
At about 2211, the train was travelling eastward on the Minnedosa Subdivision at 42 mph when the crew reported encountering a rough section of track near Mile 43.0. Shortly thereafter, the train experienced an unintended emergency brake application indicating that the train air brake line had become disconnected. Subsequent inspection revealed that 25 loaded covered hopper cars and 2 empty cars had derailed. There were no dangerous goods involved and no injuries. At the time of the accident, the sky was clear and the temperature was -21°C.
The TSB investigation determined that the derailed train was the second train through the area, and it derailed after encountering a broken rail that had likely failed under the passage of a previous train approximately 6 hours earlier.
The rail had failed catastrophically, likely due to high wheel impacts imparted on the rail by defective wheels from a car on a previous train which had large flat spots on its wheel treads. The flat spots occurred as a result of brake equipment which had failed enroute. The investigation also identified that risks exist when there are no explicit protocols in place to inspect the track after a train with known high impact wheels passes through non–signaled territory.
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
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