News release

Broken wheel led to train derailment near Cariboo, British Columbia

Gatineau, Quebec, 22 January 2013 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (R11V0254) into the 21 December 2011 main-track derailment of a Canadian National freight train near Cariboo, British Columbia.

The freight train was travelling westward on the Nechako Subdivision when the train's emergency brakes activated because of a broken wheel. Nineteen loaded coal cars derailed near Cariboo, British Columbia. There were no injuries.

The investigation determined that a wheel on one of the cars had fractured and fallen inside the rails. Once the derailed wheel entered a spiked section of track, the rail rolled over causing the derailment. The investigation also found that there is an increased risk of wheel failures during winter months when wheel deterioration happens quicker.


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
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca