Hard-to-detect braking system defects have rendered Canada’s aging fleet of grain hoppers a safety hazard, says a former director of derailment investigations for the country’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB), the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. NTSB. Ian Naish, who retired from the TSB in 2009, in a CBC interview posted May 15, declared, “The grain car fleet overall is quite defective.”
Transportation Safety Board
After the derailment of several trains hauling hazardous materials, namely crude oil, Transport Canada has issued new orders around the speed of these trains, which are now classified as “key trains” and “higher-risk key trains.”
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its preliminary transportation occurrence statistics for 2017. Total railway incidents were up, but still in line with five-year averages.
Canadian Pacific announced Aug. 25, 2016 that it “welcomes the release of the full proceedings from the Canadian Transportation Safety Board’s (TSB) recent Transportation Safety Summit and urges government officials to take action on LVVRs (locomotive video and voice recorders).”
Three years ago, in the early hours of July 13, a runaway oil train exploded in the then-idyllic lakeside town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people.
In a curious role reversal, Canada’s former Minister of Transport, now opposition politician Lisa Raitt, has revealed that the Canadian government quietly paid C$75 million toward compensation for victims of the 2013 oil trains disaster that killed 47 in the Quebec resort town of Lac-Mégantic.
The reputation of Canada’s much-criticized rail regulator is being further pummeled, both by its elected master and by the union representing lineside safety inspectors.
Canada’s transportation accident investigators gave the country’s rail regulator, Transport Canada, a passing grade on interim emergency directives introduced in April to reduce the chances of crude oil train explosions such as that which devastated downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013.