July 15, 2021 1:42pm
A final report into a February train derailment in Goderich has been released by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
The report cites ‘uncontrolled movement resulting in a non-main-track derailment’.
And according to the investigation, the movement happened when the automatic brake handle was accidentally contacted and moved from the fully applied position to the release position.
The report also maps out the route the train took before the derailment on February 1st. The map shows the train travelled 8,500 feet, or 2.59 km, before going off the track on a property owned by Parrish and Heimbecker, at a speed of 27 mph, which is just over 43 km/h.
The train came to rest within the facility, about 345 feet past the end of the track, just short of Goderich Harbour on Lake Huron.
The TSB report notes neither of the locomotives’ RSCs were equipped with roll-away protection that activates when a predetermined speed is detected and were not required to be. There was also no locking pin to further secure the brake handle.
Back in March, new Ministerial Orders were issued by the federal government to require railway companies to implement specific procedures that have to be followed by locomotive engineers to prevent any uncontrolled movement of railway equipment due to an unintended release of the train’s air brakes.
A second order required the railway industry to add an additional layer of defence to prevent the uncontrolled movement of railway equipment through amendments to the Railway Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules and the Canadian Rail Operating Rules.
The train was operated by Goderich Exeter Railway at the time of the incident.