Statistical Summary – Railway Occurrences 2008

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Foreword

This document provides users of Canadian railway safety data with an annual summary of selected statistics on rail occurrences. It covers federally regulated railways only. Provincial data reported to the TSB are not included in this report.

Users of these statistics are advised that, in a live database, the occurrence data are constantly being updated. Consequently, the statistics can change slightly over time. Further, as many occurrences are not formally investigated, information recorded on some occurrences may not have been verified. Therefore, caution should be used when utilizing these statistics. The 2008 statistics presented here reflect the TSB database updated as of 13 May 2009.

To enhance awareness and increase the safety value of the material presented in the TSB Statistical Summary, Railway Occurrences 2008, readers are encouraged to copy or reprint in whole, or in part, for further distribution of the data presented (with acknowledgement of the source).

The TSB is an independent agency operating under its own Act of Parliament. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety.

Comments on this document can be forwarded to the following address:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Communications Division
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage
4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Telephone: (819) 994-3741
Facsimile: (819) 997-2239
E-mail: communications@bst-tsb.gc.ca

©Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2008
Cat. No. TU1-2/2008E
ISBN 978-1-100-17633-8


Railway Occurrences in 2008

Accidents

Overview of Accidents and Casualties (Tables 1 to 3 - Appendix A)

In 2008, 1,159 rail accidents1 were reported to the TSB (Figure 1), a 12% decrease from the 2007 total of 1,323 and a 16% decrease from the 2003-2007 average of 1,387.

Figure 1 - Rail Accidents, 1999-2008  [D]

Figure 1. Rail Accidents, 1999-2008

Freight trains accounted for 78% of all trains involved in rail accidents in 2008, followed by single cars/cuts of cars and passenger trains in proportions of 7% and 6% respectively.

The largest proportion of reported rail accidents are non-main-track related. In 2008, these accounted for more than half of the total (Figure 2). Typically, most non-main-track accidents are minor, occurring during switching operations at speeds of less than 10 mph.

Main-track derailments and collisions accounted for 12% of all accidents in 2008, down from 19% in the previous year.

In 2008, 19% of rail accidents involved vehicles or pedestrians at highway-rail crossings, down from 9% over the previous five years.

Figure 2 - Rail Accidents by Type, 2008  [D]

Figure 2. Rail Accidents by Type, 2008

In 2008, 149 accidents involved dangerous goods (either rail cars or road vehicles carrying or having recently carried dangerous goods), down from the 2007 total of 190, and also down from the five-year average of 204. Of these, 78% were non-main-track accidents. Two accidents resulted in a dangerous goods release, down from the 2007 total of three, and also down from the five-year average of six.

Rail fatalities totalled 74 in 2008, down from 84 in 2007 and the five-year average of 92. Of the rail fatalities, trespasser2 fatalities was the largest fatality category with 47 in 2008, down 19% from the last five-year average (Figure 3). Crossing fatalities totalled 26 in 2008, unchanged from the last year and down 10% from the five-year average of 29. In 2008, one employee was fatally injured, down from the five-year average of three.

Figure 3 - Fatalities by Type of Occurrence, 1999-2008  [D]

Figure 3. Fatalities by Type of Occurrence,  1999-2008

A total of 64 serious injuries resulted from rail occurrences in 2008 (Figure 4), up from 57 in 2007 and down from the five-year average of 76. Trespasser injuries totalled 20 in 2008, down 26% from the 2007 total of 27 and down 20% from the five-year average of 25. Crossing accidents3 resulted in 36 injuries, up from 22 in 2007 and down from the five-year average of 41. The remaining eight injuries occurred in other types of accidents.

Figure 4 - Serious Injuries by Type of Occurrence, 1999-2008  [D]

Figure 4. Serious Injuries by Type of  Occurrence, 1999-2008

Accidents By Type (Tables 4a to 9)

Main-track accidents: The number of main-track accidents (accidents other than crossing and trespasser accidents which occur on main-track or spurs) totaled 223 in 2008 (Figure 5), down from 268 in 2007 and from the five-year average of 246. Rail activity on main-track decreased by 2%4 from the previous year, and the main-track accident rate decreased 16%, from 3.2 main-track accidents per million main-track train-miles in 2007 to 2.7 in 2008.

Figure 5 - Main-Track Accidents and Accident Rates, 1999-2008  [D]

Figure 5. Non-Main-Track Collisions and  Derailments, 1999-2008

to the public; (e.g., when passenger trains are involved or dangerous goods are released from trains that derail while travelling at high speeds in populated areas.)

There were six main-track collisions in 2008, down two from the 2007 total (Figure 6) and up 11% from the five-year average of five. No fatalities or serious injuries resulted from main-track collisions in 2008, and none resulted in the release of dangerous goods.

A total of 129 main-track derailments were reported in 2008, a 19% decrease from the 2007 total of 159 and a 21% decrease from the five-year average of 162. The number of main-track derailments per million main-track train-miles decreased to 1.56 in 2008 compared to 1.88 recorded in 2007 and the five-year average of 1.93.

Figure 6 - Main-Track Collisions and Derailments, 1999-2008  [D]

Figure 6. Non-Main-Track Collisions and  Derailments, 1999-2008

No fatalities or serious injuries resulted from main-track derailments in 2008.

In 2008, 23 main-track derailments involved dangerous goods, down from 35 in 2007 and down from the five-year average of 32. None of these resulted in a release of dangerous goods.

In 2008, 28% of assigned factors5 for main-track derailments were equipment-related compared to 34% in 2007 and the five-year average of 35%. Track-related represents 39% of assigned factors in 2008, compared to 32% in 2007 and 37% for the five-year average.

Non-main-track accidents: Non-main-track collisions totalled 90 in 2008, down from 102 in 2007 (Figure 7) and down from the five-year average of 109. Derailments occurred in 64% of non-main-track collisions, and 59% of these non-main-track collisions involved the derailment of one or two cars.

Figure 7 - Non-Main-Track Collisions and Derailments, 1999-2008  [D]

Figure 7. Non-Main-Track Collisions and  Derailments, 1999-2008

No fatalities or serious injuries resulted from non-main-track collisions in 2008.

Dangerous goods were involved in 37% of non-main-track collisions, none of which resulted in a release of product.

Factors assigned to non-main-track collisions are mostly rules-related (73%) (e.g., non-compliance with prescribed procedures). Failure to protect, such as improper positioning of movements and handling of switches, was assigned most often as a factor.

There were 552 non-main-track derailments in 2008 (Figure 7), down 13% from last year and down 21% from the five-year average of 700. 74% of these accidents involved the derailment of one or two cars.

No fatalities or serious injuries resulted from non-main-track derailments in 2008.

Dangerous goods cars were involved in 15% of non-main-track derailments, but none resulted in a release of dangerous goods.

In 2008, there was a 13% decrease in rules-related factors (e.g., non-compliance with prescribed procedures) assigned to non-main-track derailments compared to the five-year average; as well as, a 4% decrease in track-related factors assigned. Factors assigned in an accident are considered to have acted in combination to contribute to the occurrence.

Crossing accidents: Crossing accidents represent one of the most serious types of rail accidents in terms of casualties; typically, 25% result in either serious or fatal injuries. Although crossing accidents do not usually result in substantial damage to railway property or equipment, the motor vehicles involved are usually heavily damaged or destroyed.

There were 222 crossing accidents in 2008, up from 221 recorded in 2007 but down from the five-year average of 245. Accidents at public automated crossings (114) increased 8% from the 2007 total of 106 and decreased 10% from the five-year average of 127. Accidents at public passive crossing (63) decreased 15% from the 2007 total of 74. Accidents at private crossings decreased 3% from the five-year average of 40. The proportion of crossing accidents that occurred at public automated crossings in 2008 increased 3% from 2007 to 51% (Figure 8). Although there are nearly twice as many public passive crossings as public automated ones, the higher number of accidents occurring at automated crossings is due in part to higher vehicle and train traffic volumes at these crossings.

Figure 8 - Crossing Accidents by Type of Crossing, 2008  [D]

Figure 8. Crossing Accidents by Province

There were 24 fatal crossing accidents in 2008, up from 23 in 2007 and down from the five-year average of 26. Although crossing accidents involving pedestrians accounted for only 7% of crossing accidents in 2008, they accounted for 38% of fatal crossing accidents. Crossing-related fatalities totaled 26 in 2008, the same as the 2007 total and a decrease of 10% from the five-year average of 29.

In 2008, 6 crossing accidents resulted in derailments, the same as the 2007 total, but down from the five-year average of 7. Although heavy vehicles (e.g., dump trucks, tractor trailers) were involved in 17% of crossing accidents in 2008, they were involved in 67% of those resulting in a derailment.

Crossing accidents in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba were lower than their respective five-year averages (Figure 9), while accidents in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia showed an increase.

Figure 9 - Crossing Accidents by Province  [D]

Figure 9. Crossing Accidents by Province

Trespasser accidents: Trespasser accidents involve persons, primarily pedestrians, not authorized to be on railway rights-of-way and who are struck by rolling stock other than at railway crossings. They totaled 73 in 2008, down from the 2007 total of 101 and down from the five-year average of 88.

In 2008, Ontario represented 51% of trespasser accidents with a total of 37, Quebec represented 18%, Alberta 10% and British Columbia 8% of all trespasser accidents.

In 2008, the proportion of fatal trespasser accidents (64%) was lower than the five-year average of 70%. In addition, the proportion of trespasser accidents resulting in serious injuries (26%) was lower than the five-year average of 30%.

Figure 10 - Trespasser Accidents by Province  [D]

Figure 10. Trespasser Accidents by Province

Incidents

Overview of Incidents (Tables 10 and 11)

In 2008, there were 216 reported rail incidents, down from 223 in 2007 and down from the five-year average of 248.

There has been a significant downward trend (p<.001)6 of reported railway incidents over the last 10 years (Figure 11), due mainly to the considerable decrease in the number of reported dangerous goods (DG) leaker incidents.

Figure 11 - Rail Incidents, 1999-2008  [D]

Figure 11. Rail Incidents, 1999-2008

DG leaker incident involves the unintentional release of a hazardous material while in transportation and does not involve an accident. The vast majority of these incidents involve small quantities of products. In 1999, DG leaker incidents represented 50% of all incidents. In 2008, DG leaker incidents accounted for 30% of reported rail incidents, which is a 27% decrease from the 2007 total of 88 and a 44% decrease from the five-year average of 115 (Figure 12).

In 2008, there were 111 incidents where the movement exceeded the limit of authority7, compared to 106 in 2007 and the five-year average of 99.

Factors assigned in non-dangerous goods incidents were primarily operational or rules-related, most frequently involving an overlap of authorities or a failure to protect.

Figure 12 - Rail Incidents by Type  [D]

Figure 12. Rail Incidents by Type

Appendix A - Rail Occurrence Tables

Table 1 Railway Occurrences1 and Casualties, 1999-2008
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. For federally-regulated railways only.
  2. Data from 2001 to 2007 have been adjusted in light of clarifications to industry of TSB's reporting requirements.
  3. Main-track train-miles are estimated. (Source:  Railways Annual Reports submitted to Transport Canada.)
  4. Accidents which occurred on main-track or spurs, excluding crossing and trespasser accidents.
Accidents
Main-Track Train Collisions 10 9 7 9 6 5 6 2 8 6
Main-Track Train Derailments - 1-2 cars2 64 54 71 66 83 96 102 83 76 67
Main-Track Train Derailments -  3 or more cars2 55 68 61 58 73 64 96 56 83 62
Crossing Accidents 283 265 280 263 251 237 270 246 221 222
Non-Main-Track Train Collisions 100 113 108 131 111 123 98 110 102 90
Non-Main-Track Train Derailments - 1-2 cars2 268 270 533 482 525 562 588 567 456 409
Non-Main-Track Train Derailments -  3 or more cars2 135 117 181 182 170 151 170 136 175 143
Collisions/Derailments Involving Track Units 27 16 19 11 23 26 19 17 31 27
Employee/Passenger Accidents 13 13 8 8 6 12 8 15 18 12
Trespasser Accidents 95 78 80 73 65 99 82 91 101 73
Fires/Explosions 53 32 36 25 23 15 17 25 25 12
Other 26 19 48 26 16 23 20 24 27 36
Total 1129 1054 1432 1334 1352 1413 1476 1372 1323 1159
Reportable Incidents
Dangerous Goods Leaker 167 188 194 167 151 131 123 83 88 64
Main-Track Switch in Abnormal Position 15 17 9 9 11 12 10 7 7 13
Movement Exceeds Limits of Authority 115 102 101 99 102 95 91 101 106 111
Runaway Rolling Stock 15 9 10 18 13 11 16 12 13 16
Other 21 14 15 15 18 8 5 18 9 12
Total 333 330 329 308 295 257 245 221 223 216
Million Main-Track Train-Miles (MMTTM)3 78.8 80.1 79.9 81.3 80.6 82.6 85.8 86.9 84.5 82.8
Main-Track Accidents4/MMTTM 3.1 2.6 3.1 2.5 2.9 2.9 3.1 2.6 3.2 2.7
Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods
Main-Track Train Derailments 19 30 17 25 38 37 32 18 35 23
Crossing Accidents 8 12 7 6 3 11 15 4 6 4
Non-Main-Track Train Collisions 48 50 40 48 37 44 44 41 41 33
Non-Main-Track Train Derailments 133 149 128 129 139 106 112 109 100 83
All Others 16 8 13 13 8 10 9 11 8 6
Total 224 249 205 221 225 208 212 183 190 149
Accidents with a Dangerous Goods Release 9 7 5 5 9 7 7 4 3 2
Fatalities
Crossing Accidents 37 34 41 46 28 26 38 27 26 26
Trespasser Accidents 62 53 56 50 45 67 63 59 56 47
All Others 7 1 2 0 6 8 2 8 2 1
Total 106 88 99 96 79 101 103 94 84 74
Serious Injuries
Crossing Accidents 45 33 47 42 52 50 55 28 22 36
Trespasser Accidents 34 23 23 21 19 34 17 28 27 20
All Others 20 11 21 10 10 9 6 14 8 8
Total 99 67 91 73 81 93 78 70 57 64


Table 2  Fatalities and Serious Injuries by Type of Occurrence and Person Type, 1999-2008
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Main-Track Train Collisions
Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Serious Injuries 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Main-Track Train Derailments
Fatalities 4 0 0 0 2 2 0 3 0 0
Serious Injuries 6 1 9 0 2 0 0 2 0 0
Crossing Accidents
Fatalities 37 34 41 46 28 26 38 27 26 26
Serious Injuries 45 33 47 42 52 50 55 28 22 36
Non-Main-Track Train Collisions
Fatalities 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Serious Injuries 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-Main-Track Train Derailements
Fatalities 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Serious Injuries 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Coll./Derail. Involving Track Units
Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Serious Injuries 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Employee/Passenger  Accidents
Fatalities 3 1 0 0 1 5 2 4 1 1
Serious Injuries 10 8 8 6 3 7 4 9 8 7
Trespasser Accidents
Fatalities 62 53 56 50 45 67 63 59 56 47
Serious Injuries 34 23 23 21 19 34 17 28 27 20
Fires/Other
Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Serious Injuries 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Dangerous Goods Leaker
Fatalities 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Serious Injuries 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
Other Incidents
Fatalities 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0
Serious Injuries 2 1 3 2 3 2 0 2 0 1
Fatalities by Person Type
Employees 7 1 2 0 6 6 2 6 1 1
Passengers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1
Pedestrians 7 8 6 10 6 4 11 9 11 13
Vehicle Occupants 30 28 34 38 23 23 28 15 18 14
Trespassers 61 51 56 48 44 68 62 60 54 43
Other Persons 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
Total 106 88 99 96 79 101 103 94 84 74
Serious Injuries by Person Type
Employees 18 10 16 10 11 9 6 14 9 11
Passengers 7 1 7 0 0 0 1 1 0 1
Pedestrians 5 7 5 6 6 2 3 5 6 3
Vehicle Occupants 38 27 42 36 44 48 51 24 18 30
Trespassers 32 21 20 21 20 32 17 25 24 19
Other Persons 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 0
Total 100 67 91 73 81 93 78 70 57 64
Table 3  Rail Accidents by Train Type1, 1999-2008
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. As some accidents may involve more than one train, the number of trains involved may differ from the total number of accidents.
  2. Category "Other" includes otherwise uncategorized data submitted in June 2007 as a result of clarification to industry of TSB reporting requirements.
Freight Train
Main-track train collisions 15 13 9 16 10 7 6 2 12 9
Main-track train derailments 109 114 125 123 153 149 189 134 155 118
Non-main-track train collisions 132 121 101 133 104 119 88 117 96 99
Non-main-track train derailments 367 327 348 319 339 413 486 447 476 479
Crossing 240 229 245 235 221 194 220 200 181 186
Trespasser 70 49 56 44 47 73 58 70 69 50
Other 82 54 55 45 41 36 32 49 58 51
Total 1015 907 939 915 915 991 1079 1019 1047 992
Passenger Train
Main-track train collisions 2 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 2
Main-track train derailments 8 3 5 0 2 3 5 3 0 3
Non-main-track train collisions 0 0 0 0 8 5 4 1 4 3
Non-main-track train derailments 3 4 8 7 11 10 10 10 8 16
Crossing 31 19 26 23 18 33 38 34 28 24
Trespasser 23 28 23 29 18 25 23 18 32 21
Other 8 8 13 8 1 3 4 6 11 10
Total 75 63 76 67 59 80 84 72 83 79
Track Unit
Main-track train collisions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Main-track train derailments 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track train collisions 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track train derailments 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Crossing 7 5 5 1 5 8 8 7 3 6
Trespasser 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
Other 38 22 28 17 35 46 33 33 47 44
Total 47 27 35 18 41 55 41 41 50 50
Single car/Cut of cars
Main-track train collisions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Main-track train derailments 2 2 1 2 1 0 2 1 3 2
Non-main-track train collisions 42 55 35 51 49 61 49 63 61 49
Non-main-track train derailments 20 17 23 22 32 20 35 73 76 31
Crossing 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1
Trespasser 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 8 5 10 5 10 12 8 6 4 4
Total 73 80 69 81 92 93 94 144 145 87
Other2
Main-track train collisions 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Main-track train derailments 3 4 1 2 3 8 4 1 4 6
Non-main-track train collisions 3 20 26 26 14 18 12 13 10 8
Non-main-track train derailments 17 42 341 324 322 283 243 182 85 37
Crossing 6 11 4 4 7 2 4 6 10 8
Trespasser 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 2
Other 5 5 19 5 3 3 6 6 12 3
Total 34 84 391 361 349 314 271 210 123 64
Table 4a  Main-Track Train Derailments, 1999-2008
By Province
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. MMTTM - Million main-track train-miles (Source: Transport Canada)
  2. BGTM - Billion gross ton-miles; (Source: Railway Association of Canada)
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 2 3 1 0 0 2 1 1 1
Nova Scotia 3 2 3 1 0 2 0 1 2 1
New Brunswick 0 2 3 0 2 3 3 0 6 1
Quebec 22 15 19 26 27 23 26 21 12 16
Ontario 30 28 37 39 59 52 60 41 39 35
Manitoba 11 17 14 12 6 10 11 9 12 13
Saskatchewan 10 14 12 10 14 15 24 12 18 14
Alberta 16 15 17 16 19 23 29 20 30 30
British Columbia 26 27 24 19 29 32 43 34 39 18
Northwest Territories/Yukon 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 119 122 132 124 156 160 198 139 159 129
Derailments per MMTTM1 1.51 1.52 1.65 1.53 1.93 1.94 2.31 1.60 1.88 1.56
Derailments per BGTM2 0.31 0.30 0.33 0.31 0.38 0.36 0.43 0.30 0.34  
By Total Number of Derailed Cars per Accident
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Derailed Cars
1 14 11 15 13 8 15 16 17 14 12
2 8 11 8 4 8 6 9 3 10 6
3 5 6 9 6 5 7 9 0 8 5
4 24 24 22 26 35 22 40 23 26 24
5-10 18 27 22 22 25 29 38 30 39 27
10+ 119 122 132 124 156 160 198 139 159 129
Total 188 201 208 195 237 239 310 212 256 203
Table 4b Main-Track Train Derailments by Assigned Factors1, 1999-2008
Assigned factors
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Federally regulated railway occurrences.
    TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings.
    Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
  2. Some factors are assigned by highest category (e.g. Equipment or Track), therefore the breakdowns may not sum up to the category total.
Environmental 10 0 5 2 5 7 11 8 17 11
Equipment - Total2 40 52 50 62 61 70 83 54 60 41
Axle 15 21 17 18 20 14 21 5 14 11
Brakes 2 7 5 10 6 9 13 8 8 3
Draft System 7 8 6 5 5 13 9 5 9 4
Superstrucure 2 7 6 7 6 3 7 6 8 5
Truck 8 2 3 12 13 11 8 8 5 5
Wheel 6 7 13 10 11 18 23 21 16 12
Track - Total2 56 49 50 46 67 71 86 64 56 57
Geometry 32 22 22 26 31 23 34 23 22 22
Object on track 1 2 3 2 1 0 4 2 1 1
Other track material (OTM) 5 3 5 2 1 8 2 4 2 4
Rail 10 19 9 10 21 25 35 25 18 24
Roadbed 6 0 6 1 4 7 2 6 3 4
Switch 0 2 3 1 1 2 2 2 0 2
Turnouts 2 0 2 4 7 3 4 0 6 0
Actions - Total 22 22 34 19 24 23 28 22 19 20
Failure to Protect 6 6 6 3 5 4 4 3 4 8
Failure to Secure 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Failure to use Equipment Properly 7 6 13 12 11 6 11 6 6 6
Improper Loading/Lifting 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 3 1
Improper Placement/Position for Task 2 6 2 1 2 6 5 1 2 0
Inadequate/Inappropriate Maint. of Equipment 3 1 5 1 2 3 4 4 1 3
Operating at Improper Speed 0 1 5 1 3 1 2 4 0 2
Vandalism 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Other actions 1 1 0 0 1 1 2 2 1 0
Other assigned factors 29 13 7 15 13 17 17 19 25 16
Assigned factors - Total 157 136 146 144 170 188 225 167 177 145
Main-track train derailments by number of assigned factors
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
One factor assigned 103 108 120 108 136 140 174 123 148 118
More than one factor assigned 16 12 10 14 13 18 21 14 9 8
No factor assigned 0 2 2 2 7 2 3 2 2 3
Main-track train derailments - Total 119 122 132 124 156 160 198 139 159 129
Table 5a Non-Main-Track Train Collisions, 1999-2008
By Province
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Number of collisions with no derailment.
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 1
New Brunswick 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 5 1 3
Quebec 19 14 17 19 15 20 17 19 11 5
Ontario 31 42 42 53 47 28 28 25 29 25
Manitoba 13 11 12 14 7 14 11 7 13 9
Saskatchewan 6 4 5 5 10 4 5 8 10 10
Alberta 19 26 17 20 20 33 20 24 23 27
British Columbia 11 14 13 19 7 23 16 21 14 10
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Canada 100 113 108 131 111 123 98 110 102 90
By Total Number of Derailed Cars per Accident
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Derailed Cars
01 49 55 65 79 68 69 63 56 41 32
1 23 25 22 21 20 26 14 28 23 23
2 13 19 10 16 13 14 12 10 15 11
3 7 7 5 8 1 9 5 7 8 9
4 1 2 3 3 4 2 1 4 8 8
5-10 6 4 3 2 4 3 3 5 5 5
10+ 1 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 2
Total 100 113 108 131 111 123 98 110 102 90
Table 5b Non-Main-Track Train Collisions by Assigned Factors1 , 1999-2008
Assigned factors
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Federally regulated railway occurrences.
    TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings.
    Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
Environmental 2 1 5 3 1 3 4 1 3 1
Equipment 4 1 5 2 6 1 1 1 4 1
Track 4 3 3 5 6 4 10 2 2 4
Actions - Total 64 90 90 111 85 114 83 107 88 69
Failure to Protect 36 48 58 78 62 70 52 64 59 47
Failure to Secure 11 23 21 15 11 30 16 26 17 6
Failure to use Equipment Properly 5 8 6 10 4 8 4 6 5 10
Improper Placement/Position for Task 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Inadequate/Inappropriate communications 4 2 1 3 3 1 2 2 3 0
Inadequate/Inappropriate Maint. of Equipment 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
Operating at Improper Speed 4 5 2 1 2 3 6 7 4 6
Vandalism 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0
Other actions 1 3 1 2 1 1 2 0 0 0
Other assigned factors 60 46 28 31 22 26 20 15 19 20
Assigned factors - Total 134 141 131 152 120 148 118 126 116 95
Non-Main-Track Train Collisions by number of assigned factors
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
One factor assigned 69 86 86 108 98 99 78 93 92 83
More than one factor assigned 31 27 22 22 11 23 19 16 10 4
No factor assigned 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 1 0 3
Non-Main-Track Train Collision - Total 100 113 108 131 111 123 98 110 102 90
Table 6a Non-Main-Track Train Derailments , 1999-2008
By Province
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Nova Scotia 3 2 11 21 39 23 13 14 6 3
New Brunswick 15 7 24 26 26 19 16 24 11 16
Quebec 74 69 124 116 140 150 133 117 67 70
Ontario 117 108 239 246 227 227 233 201 164 136
Manitoba 37 38 53 53 63 58 56 52 48 46
Saskatchewan 32 26 56 34 45 57 70 48 68 50
Alberta 64 88 89 81 75 94 125 143 146 109
British Columbia 61 48 118 86 80 85 110 103 120 122
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Canada 403 387 714 664 695 713 758 703 631 552
By Total Number of Derailed Cars per Accident
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Derailed Cars
1 175 177 377 340 372 406 420 397 327 275
2 93 93 156 142 153 156 168 170 129 134
3 44 37 80 70 76 61 60 44 79 56
4 34 22 44 35 34 38 34 40 40 24
5-10 54 53 53 71 57 46 69 44 53 54
10+ 3 5 4 6 3 6 7 8 3 9
Total 403 387 714 664 695 713 758 703 631 552
Table 6b Non-Main-Track Train Derailments by Assigned Factors1, 1999-2008
Assigned factors
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Federally regulated railway occurrences.
    TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings.
    Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
  2. Some factors are assigned by highest category (e.g. Equipment or Track), therefore the breakdowns may not sum up to the category total.
Environmental 15 6 33 14 45 38 32 18 40 44
Equipment - Total2 39 27 53 56 63 71 73 52 52 36
Axle 0 2 2 1 0 0 1 1 3 1
Brakes 5 8 12 11 11 12 21 13 9 11
Draft System 10 5 10 18 11 15 12 8 11 7
Superstrucure 1 2 9 9 15 10 11 9 9 7
Truck 12 2 11 9 13 15 13 11 7 4
Wheel 11 8 9 8 12 17 15 10 9 5
Track - Total2 169 166 243 224 205 251 292 282 232 222
Appurtenances 1 1 2 3 1 1 3 2 1 1
Geometry 60 64 93 69 81 91 112 97 98 80
Object on track 5 5 11 1 6 8 8 14 1 6
Other track material (OTM) 14 24 32 25 19 22 21 25 14 8
Rail 22 18 22 30 24 24 24 32 29 30
Roadbed 5 4 7 8 4 13 13 6 7 7
Signals 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 1 1
Switch 4 21 38 32 31 42 51 48 34 55
Turnouts 56 26 33 52 35 41 54 48 31 27
Actions - Total 162 196 379 369 347 334 346 329 274 238
Failure to Protect 99 121 195 182 197 176 202 193 178 158
Failure to Secure 4 10 13 16 22 26 22 6 5 8
Failure to use Equipment Properly 18 24 114 123 78 81 84 93 65 43
Improper Loading/Lifting 1 12 5 5 5 1 8 3 0 6
Improper Placement/Position for Task 2 9 10 8 10 8 12 10 6 4
Inadequate/Inappropriate communications 1 2 7 3 2 5 4 4 1 3
Inadequate/Inappropriate Maint. of Equipment 17 6 11 11 4 9 2 5 7 0
Operating at Improper Speed 5 6 10 7 10 10 3 6 4 9
Vandalism 12 6 9 10 12 12 6 7 5 5
Other actions 3 0 5 4 7 6 3 2 3 2
Other assigned factors 121 54 67 43 65 58 49 57 48 20
Assigned factors - Total 506 449 775 706 725 752 792 738 646 560
Non-Main-Track train derailments by number of assigned factors
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
One factor assigned 313 324 656 612 621 643 698 631 599 520
More than one factor assigned 90 59 54 42 50 50 46 50 23 20
No factor assigned 0 4 4 10 24 20 14 22 9 12
Non-Main-Track train derailment- Total 403 387 714 664 695 713 758 703 631 552
Table 7 Crossing Accidents and Casualties by Type of Crossing and Protection, 1999-2008
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Figures in brackets denote the number of public grade crossings for federally-regulated railways in Canada by
    warning type as of November 2009. (There are approximately 3,500 private and farm crossings in Canada.)(Source: Transport Canada.)
Accidents
Public Crossings1
Total Passive Warnings    (11,722) 97 84 77 95 72 63 71 81 74 63
Flashing Lights & Bells     (3,526) 91 95 100 88 85 75 103 72 64 73
Gates    (2,116) 36 42 43 39 50 42 53 36 36 39
Other Automated Warnings    (61) 0 2 1 0 1 0 3 8 6 2
Total Automated Warnings    (5,703) 127 139 144 127 136 117 159 116 106 114
Sub-total    (17,425) 224 223 221 222 208 180 230 197 180 177
Private Crossings 49 37 48 33 36 51 34 46 34 39
Farm Crossings 10 3 8 5 6 4 5 2 5 6
Total 283 263 277 260 250 235 269 245 219 222
Fatal Accidents 32 31 35 41 24 22 35 24 23 24
Fatalities
Public Crossings
Total Passive Warnings 19 10 14 16 8 6 7 8 5 5
Flashing Lights & Bells 5 12 11 14 9 10 13 9 8 9
Gates 10 10 10 13 7 8 12 7 9 11
Other Automated Warnings 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total Automated Warnings 15 22 21 27 16 18 25 16 18 20
Sub-total 34 32 35 43 24 24 32 24 23 25
Private Crossings 3 1 5 3 2 0 4 3 3 0
Farm Crossings 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 1
Total 37 33 41 46 28 24 37 27 26 26
Serious Injuries
Public Crossings
Total Passive Warnings 13 6 12 18 15 15 9 9 14 12
Flashing Lights & Bells 21 16 20 13 23 21 23 11 4 16
Gates 6 7 6 6 8 11 15 6 3 2
Other Automated Warnings 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Total Automated Warnings 27 23 26 19 31 32 39 17 7 18
Sub-total 40 29 38 37 46 47 48 26 21 30
Private Crossings 5 3 7 5 6 3 6 2 1 4
Farm Crossings 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
Total 45 33 47 42 52 50 55 28 22 36
Table 8 Crossing Accidents and Related Casualties by Province, 1999-2008
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Figures in brackets denote the estimated number of public crossings for federally-regulated railways in each province as of November 2009.
    The Canada total is the actual figure. (Source: Transport Canada.)
  2. Includes crossing accidents on main track or on spurs per MMTTM - Million main-track train-miles.
    (Source: Transport Canada)
Accidents1
Newfoundland & Labrador (5) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Nova Scotia (180) 7 3 10 1 2 2 5 4 3 0
New Brunswick (347) 5 2 8 1 9 2 3 2 2 2
Quebec (1,958) 51 45 43 44 36 63 57 39 40 27
Ontario (4,312) 94 88 80 78 80 69 92 67 52 66
Manitoba (2,027) 19 22 25 36 28 19 18 20 20 13
Saskatchewan (4,065) 30 32 29 24 24 16 19 26 23 28
Alberta (3,009) 52 45 54 55 38 38 56 56 48 54
British Columbia (1,507) 24 28 30 24 33 26 18 31 33 32
Northwest Territories/Yukon (15) 1 0 1 0 1 2 1 0 0 0
Canada (17,425) 283 265 280 263 251 237 270 246 221 222
Crossing Accidents per MMTTM2 3.59 3.31 3.51 3.24 3.11 2.87 3.15 2.83 2.62 2.68
Crossing Accidents with Derailment 8 9 12 9 4 9 12 4 6 6
Fatalities
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Brunswick 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Quebec 6 9 4 9 4 10 8 7 1 6
Ontario 20 12 17 15 15 12 16 12 12 12
Manitoba 2 2 3 5 2 1 2 2 1 2
Saskatchewan 1 5 8 3 4 1 2 1 2 3
Alberta 5 3 5 10 3 2 6 4 5 2
British Columbia 3 2 2 4 0 0 3 1 5 1
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 37 34 41 46 28 26 38 27 26 26
Serious Injuries
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
New Brunswick 0 0 2 1 1 2 0 0 1 1
Quebec 4 6 4 6 5 14 11 4 2 3
Ontario 19 7 15 14 19 11 21 8 7 11
Manitoba 3 4 3 3 4 6 1 4 2 4
Saskatchewan 7 3 5 4 4 3 4 2 4 5
Alberta 11 8 13 12 11 9 12 8 4 7
British Columbia 1 5 4 2 8 5 3 1 2 5
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 45 33 47 42 52 50 55 28 22 36
Table 9 Trespasser Accidents and Related Casualties by Province, 1999-2008
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accidents
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 2 1
New Brunswick 0 1 0 2 0 0 2 1 4 2
Quebec 26 13 10 13 6 15 13 9 12 13
Ontario 46 41 42 43 38 45 43 43 47 37
Manitoba 1 1 7 3 3 3 6 5 7 4
Saskatchewan 3 2 3 0 2 3 0 2 0 3
Alberta 10 6 9 3 7 16 6 17 14 7
British Columbia 9 14 8 9 9 14 10 14 15 6
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 95 78 80 73 65 99 82 91 101 73
Fatal Accidents 61 53 56 50 45 66 63 58 56 47
Fatalities
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0
New Brunswick 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 3 2
Quebec 19 9 9 9 4 9 11 6 7 10
Ontario 31 30 29 33 30 32 33 31 32 24
Manitoba 0 0 2 1 2 3 4 1 2 2
Saskatchewan 1 1 3 0 0 4 0 1 0 2
Alberta 7 4 7 1 5 11 5 11 7 4
British Columbia 4 8 5 4 4 7 8 9 4 3
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 62 53 56 50 45 67 63 59 56 47
Serious Injuries
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1
New Brunswick 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
Quebec 7 3 1 3 2 6 2 3 3 0
Ontario 16 9 12 9 7 13 9 13 7 12
Manitoba 1 1 5 2 1 0 1 3 4 2
Saskatchewan 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 1
Alberta 3 5 2 2 2 5 1 3 4 2
British Columbia 5 4 3 5 5 8 2 4 8 2
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 34 23 23 21 19 34 17 28 27 20
Table 10 Reportable Incidents by Type and Assigned Factor1, 1999-2008
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Federally regulated railway occurrences.
    TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings.
    Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
  2. Excluding dangerous good incidents. See table 11 for dangerous good incidents.
Incidents by type
Dangerous Goods Leaker 167 188 194 167 151 131 123 83 88 64
Main-Track Switch in Abnormal Position 15 17 9 9 11 12 10 7 7 13
Movement Exceeds Limits of Authority 115 102 101 99 102 95 91 101 106 111
Runaway Rolling Stock 15 9 10 18 13 11 16 12 13 16
Signal Less Restrictive than Required 8 2 7 3 2 1 1 6 0 3
Unprotected Overlap of Authorities 11 11 4 6 10 5 3 7 8 7
Crew Member Incapacitated 2 1 4 6 6 2 1 5 1 2
Incidents - Total 333 330 329 308 295 257 245 221 223 216
Assigned factors2
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Equipment 4 1 4 3 4 0 1 1 0 2
Individual/Personal 109 57 35 29 40 20 17 13 4 3
Track 3 3 5 3 3 0 2 3 0 1
Actions 104 125 108 104 117 110 108 112 90 141
Failure to Protect 34 45 42 39 40 39 35 31 38 55
Failure to Secure 14 4 6 9 7 6 10 6 1 8
Failure to use Equipment Properly 2 6 1 3 5 6 2 5 1 3
Inadequate/Inappropriate Communication 4 8 6 3 5 5 7 11 4 6
Lap of Authority 40 56 49 45 58 48 50 55 41 63
Vandalism 9 4 2 3 1 2 0 4 2 6
Other actions 1 2 2 2 1 4 4 0 3 0
Other assigned factors 17 4 4 7 3 3 1 6 3 4
Assigned Factors1 - Total 237 190 156 146 167 133 129 135 97 151
Incidents by number of assigned factors2
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
One factor assigned 98 76 78 82 91 87 81 88 87 139
More than one factor assigned 68 56 37 32 37 23 24 21 5 6
No factor assigned 0 10 20 27 16 16 17 29 43 7
Incidents - Total 166 142 135 141 144 126 122 138 135 152
Table 11 DG Leaker Incidents by Province and Leak Location/Component1, 1999-2008
DG Leaker Incidents by Province
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
  1. Federally regulated railway occurrences.
    TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings.
    Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
  2. Some factors are assigned by highest category, therefore the breakdowns may not sum up to the category total.
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
New Brunswick 8 3 5 6 10 7 1 1 0 1
Quebec 14 12 8 8 9 7 8 8 6 6
Ontario 65 59 74 65 46 34 29 30 30 19
Manitoba 11 24 8 9 9 17 3 5 2 4
Saskatchewan 4 2 8 4 2 4 4 4 5 3
Alberta 37 54 43 43 45 31 29 13 20 15
British Columbia 28 34 47 32 30 31 48 22 25 15
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 167 188 194 167 151 131 123 83 88 64
DG Leaker by Location/Component
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Structural 3 2 0 4 3 0 1 2 0 0
Safety Appurtenances 19 38 26 34 27 29 20 8 16 6
Operating Appurtenances 107 105 111 90 72 76 83 59 45 42
Auxiliary Appurtenances 32 28 34 26 26 16 12 3 6 2
Other Location/Component 11 15 21 8 16 8 8 7 6 7
Location/Component - Total 172 188 192 162 145 130 124 79 73 57
Factor other than location/component 6 9 4 2 4 2 2 2 3 4
Assigned factors - Total 178 197 196 164 149 132 126 81 76 61
DG Leaker Incidents by number of assigned factors
  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
One factor assigned 156 177 186 162 143 127 119 79 76 57
More than one factor assigned 10 10 5 1 3 2 3 1 0 2
No factor assigned 1 1 3 4 5 2 1 3 12 5
DG Leaker Incident - Total 167 188 194 167 151 131 123 83 88 64

Appendix B

Definitions

The following definitions apply to railway occurrences that are required to be reported pursuant to the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and the associated regulations.

Railway Occurrence

  1. Any accident or incident associated with the operation of rolling stock on a railway, and
  2. Any situation or condition that the Board has reasonable grounds to believe could, if left unattended, induce an accident or incident described in paragraph (a) above.

Reportable railway accident

An accident resulting directly from the operation of rolling stock, where:

  1. a person sustains a serious injury or is killed as a result of:
    1. being on board or getting off the rolling stock, or
    2. coming into contact with any part of the rolling stock or its contents, or
  2. the rolling stock:
    1. is involved in a grade-crossing collision,
    2. is involved in a collision or derailment and is carrying passengers,
    3. is involved in a collision or derailment and is carrying dangerous goods, or is known to have last contained dangerous goods the residue of which has not been purged from the rolling stock,
    4. sustains damage that affects its safe operation, or
    5. causes or sustains a fire or explosion, or causes damage to the railway, that poses a threat to the safety of any person, property or the environment.

Reportable railway incident

An incident resulting directly from the operation of rolling stock, where:

  1. a risk of collision occurs;
  2. an unprotected main track switch is left in an abnormal position;
  3. a railway signal displays a less restrictive indication than that required for the intended movement of rolling stock;
  4. an unprotected overlap of operating authorities occurs;
  5. a movement of rolling stock exceeds the limits of its authority;
  6. there is runaway rolling stock;
  7. any crew member whose duties are directly related to the safe operation of the rolling stock is unable to perform the crew member's duties as a result of a physical incapacitation that poses a threat to the safety of any person, property or the environment; or
  8. any dangerous goods are released on board or from the rolling stock.

Serious Injury

An injury that is likely to require admission to a hospital.

Dangerous Goods Involvement

An accident is considered to have dangerous goods involvement if any car in the consist carrying (or having last contained) a dangerous good derails, strikes or is struck by any other rolling stock or object. It does not mean that there was any release of any product.  Also included are crossing accidents in which the motor vehicle involved (e.g. tanker truck) is carrying a dangerous good.

Explanatory Notes

Accidents by Railway

Accident totals are not presented by railway. The track, train and personnel in an occurrence may all belong to different companies; also an occurrence may have several contributing factors. Presenting data based purely on one of these criteria or factors would be misleading, and misinterpretation of data by readers could unfairly affect a company's competitive position.


  1. Refer to Appendix B for a definition of reportable railway accident.
  2. Trespasser accidents involve persons, primarily pedestrians, not authorized to be on railway rights-of-way and who are struck by rolling stock other than at railway crossings.
  3. Crossing accident is when a railway rolling stock is involved in a grade-crossing collision with a motor vehicle or pedestrian, resulting in death, serious injury, or property damage.
  4. As provided to TSB by the Strategic Information Branch of Transport Canada.
  5. Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. Since multiple factors can contribute to an occurrence, the TSB may assign additional factors to an occurrence.
  6. It is agreed by convention that, for a result to be considered statistically significant, its probability must be lower than 1 in 20 (i.e. p<.05).
  7. Movement exceeds limits of authority is when a train or track unit movement occupies a main track (including signalled sidings, signalled yard tracks and station tracks) or portion thereof without the required authorization.