News release

Track geometry, train marshalling and high forces exerted on couplers between cars led to derailment at Taschereau Yard in November 2013

Gatineau, Quebec, 21 January 2015 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada today released its investigation report (R13D0077) into the derailment of a Canadian National Railway (CN) freight train in Taschereau Yard, Montréal, Quebec.

On 6 November 2013, at approximately 05:05 Eastern Standard Time, a CN freight train derailed 10 empty cars while travelling through a tight curve at Taschereau Yard in Montréal, Quebec. The derailed cars and the track were damaged. There were no injuries.

The investigation determined that, as the train began to accelerate from a stop, the empty cars occupying the curve were pulled over the lower (inside) rail and derailed. The first car to derail, the 29th car, was an empty, long car equipped with end-of-car cushioning devices. These cars are susceptible to high lateral/vertical (L/V) forces, especially in curves. With a block of empty cars marshalled ahead of a block of loaded cars, the empty cars experienced a significantly higher L/V force than the loaded cars.

In the weeks following the derailment, CN issued instructions aimed at minimizing in-train forces in the curve of track CX01. Yard and train personnel must ensure that the train brakes are fully released before initiating a movement and must limit the force applied to the train by the locomotive consist.

CN will continue to ensure compliance with these instructions by reviewing locomotive event recorder downloads.

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