"> " />

1370 Ontario St. - Mezzanine, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Secretary-Treasurers
Information
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Canada's TSB identifies 18 factors leading to Lac-Megantic train accident and calls for additional safety defenses to improve rail safety

(Source: Transportation Safety Board press release, August 19, 2014)

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation into the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec (investigation report R13D0054), concluded that a multitude of factors led to the accident which left 47 people dead. The TSB is now calling for additional physical defences to prevent runaway trains, and for more thorough audits of safety management systems‎ to ensure railways are effectively managing safety.

On the evening of 5 July 2013, an MMA train was parked on a descending grade on the main track in Nantes, Quebec. The engineer applied hand brakes on all five locomotives, plus two other cars, and shut down all but the lead locomotive. Railway rules require hand brakes alone to be capable of holding a train, and this must be verified by a test. That night, the locomotive air brakes were left on during the test, meaning the train was being held by a combination of hand brakes and air brakes, giving a false impression that the hand brakes alone would hold the train. When a fire began in the engine, emergency responders shut off the engine, causing the air holding the independent brakes to leak off, reducing their effectiveness. Without enough force from the hand brakes, the train began rolling downhill toward Lac-Mégantic, just over seven miles away. As it moved down the grade, the train picked up speed, reaching a top speed of 65 mph, and derailing near the centre of town. Almost every derailed car was breached, releasing almost six million litres of crude oil, which ignited into a large fire.

“Accidents never come down to a single individual, a single action or a single factor. You have to look at the whole context,” said Wendy Tadros, Chair of the TSB. “In our investigation, we found 18 factors played a role in this accident.

The TSB found MMA was a company with a weak safety culture that did not have a functioning safety management system to manage risks. The TSB also learned that Transport Canada did not audit MMA often and thoroughly enough to ensure it was effectively managing the risks in its operations. Furthermore, the Board found problems with training, employee monitoring, and maintenance practices at MMA; with industry rules for the securement of unattended trains; and with the tank cars used to carry volatile petroleum crude oil.

“This investigation and its findings are complex, but our goal is simple: we must improve rail safety in Canada,” added Tadros. “That’s why, in addition to our three previous recommendations, we are issuing two new recommendations to ensure unattended trains will always be secured, and Canada’s railways will have safety management systems that really work to manage safety.” She concluded, “This is about governments, railways and shippers doing everything in their power to ensure there is never another Lac-Mégantic.”

See the investigation page for complete details of this investigation.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

© 1997-2014 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Safety Task Force Hotline
800-306-5414

Decertification Helpline
800-393-2716

DAILY HEADLINES

Teamster Nation: Get the latest updates in the War on Workers
Crude oil train disclosures raise risk of attack, regulators told
Sen. Schumer presses rail industry to phase-out DOT-111 tank cars
5 critically hurt as freight train hits tourist train in Arkansas
U.S. Senator raises concerns over potential CP, CSX deal
Pershing Square's Ackman says some rail mergers pro-competitive
Possible CSX-CP Rail deal could aid Albany region
CSX COO Oscar Munoz sells $2.53 million in company stock
CSX earnings: Volumes up but revenue per unit remains sluggish
CSX expects continued growth in domestic intermodal
'Okay, we're in hell:' Lac-Megantic fire chief recounts night of train explosion
Brakes tampered with on runaway train cars in south Edmonton, CP Rail says
AAR: Combined weekly rail traffic up 4.6 percent over 2013 for week ending October 11
Editorial: If passenger rail service is to have a future, Amtrak and freight lines must get more cooperative
Trial date pending in BNSF homicide case
CSX celebrates Winter Haven transportation hub
A chat with Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman on the state of U.S. passenger rail
Credit for military service under the Railroad Retirement Act

More Headlines


Enter your e-mail address to receive BLET news updates.

Subscribe  Unsubscribe