Statistical Summary – Railway Occurrences 2011

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Foreword

This document provides users of Canadian railway safety data with an annual summary of selected statistics on rail occurrences. It covers federally regulated railways only. Non-federally regulated data reported to the TSB are not included in this report.

Users of these statistics are advised that, in a live database, the occurrence data are constantly being updated. Consequently, the statistics can change slightly over time. Further, as many occurrences are not formally investigated, information recorded on some occurrences may not have been verified. Therefore, caution should be used when utilizing these statistics. The 2011 statistics presented here reflect the TSB database updated as of February 15, 2012.

To enhance awareness and increase the safety value of the material presented in the TSB Statistical Summary, Railway Occurrences 2011, readers are encouraged to copy or reprint in whole, or in part, for further distribution of the data presented (with acknowledgement of the source).

The TSB is an independent agency operating under its own Act of Parliament. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety.


Railway occurrences in 2011

Accidents

Overview of accidents and casualties (Tables 1 to 3)

In 2011, 1023 rail accidents1 were reported to the TSB (Figure 1), a 5% decrease from the 2010 total of 1076 but a 15% decrease from the 2006-2010 average of 1198.

Figure 1 - Rail accidents, 2002-2011 [D]

Figure 1 - Rail Accidents, 2002-2011

Freight trains accounted for 71% of all trains involved in rail accidents in 2011, followed by single cars/cuts of cars with 9%, and passenger trains with 6%.

The largest proportion of reported rail accidents are non-main-track related. In 2011, these accounted for more than half of the total (Figure 2). Typically, most non-main-track accidents are minor, occurring during switching operations at speeds of less than 10 mph.

Main-track derailments and collisions accounted for 10% of all accidents in 2011 compared to 8% in the previous year.

In 2011, 17% of rail accidents involved vehicles or pedestrians at rail crossings, nearly unchanged from 18% over the previous five years.

Figure 2 - Rail accidents by type, 2011 [D]

Figure 2 - Rail Accidents by Type, 2010

In 2011, 118 accidents involved dangerous goods (either rail cars or road vehicles carrying or having recently carried dangerous goods), down from the 2010 total of 141, and down from the five-year average of 160. Of these, 80% were non-main-track accidents. Three accidents resulted in a dangerous goods release in 2011, compared to 2 in 2010, and to the five-year average of 3.

Rail fatalities totalled 71 in 2011, down 12% from 81 for both last year and the five-year average. Of the rail fatalities, trespasser 2 fatalities was the largest fatality category with 45 in 2011, down 17% from the five-year average of 54 (Figure 3). Crossing fatalities totalled 25 in 2011, comparable to 24 for both last year and the five-year average. In 2011, one employee was fatally injured, compared to the five-year average of two.

Figure 3 - Fatalities by type of occurrence, 2002-2011 [D]

Figure 3 - Fatalities by type of occurrence, 2002-2011

A total of 51 serious injuries resulted from rail occurrences in 2011 (Figure 4), down from 62 in 2010 and down from the five-year average of 61. Trespasser injuries totalled 21 in 2011, comparable to the 2010 total of 19 and also the five-year average of 22. Crossing accidents3 resulted in 21 injuries, down from 28 in 2010 and down from the five-year average of 27. The remaining 9 injuries occurred in other types of occurrences.

Figure 4 - Serious injuries by type of occurrence, 2002-2011 [D]

Figure 4 - Serious Injuries by Type of  Occurrence, 2002-2011

The number of main-track accidents (accidents other than crossing and trespasser accidents which occur on main-track or spurs) totaled 192 in 2011 (Figure 5), up 19% from 161 in 2010 but down 4% from the five-year average of 201. Rail activity on main-track increased by 1% 4 from the previous year, and the main-track accident rate increased 18%, from 2.1 main-track accidents per million main-track train-miles in 2010 to 2.5 in 2011.

Figure 5 - Main-track accidents and accident rates, 2002-2011 [D]

Figure 5 - Main-Track Accidents and Accident Rates, 2001-2010

Accidents by type

Main-track collisions and derailments are the most serious categories of rail accidents in terms of potential risk to the public and financial loss (e.g., when passenger trains are involved or dangerous goods are released from trains that derail while travelling at high speeds in populated areas).

There were 3 main-track collisions in 2011 (Figure 6), down 1 from the 2010 total and down from the five-year average of 5. No fatalities or serious injuries resulted from main-track collisions in 2011, and none resulted in the release of dangerous goods.

A total of 103 main-track derailments (Tables 4a and 4b)were reported in 2011, a 29% increase from the 2010 total of 80 but a 10% decrease from the five-year average of 115 (Figure 6). The number of main-track derailments per million main-track train-miles increased to 1.3 in 2011 compared to 1.0 in 2010, but is lower than the five-year average of 1.4.

Figure 6 - Main-track collisions and derailments, 2002-2011 [D]

Figure 6 - Main-Track Collisions and Derailments, 2001-2010

No fatality or serious injuries resulted from main-track derailments in 2011.

In 2011, 21 main-track derailments involved dangerous goods, up from 13 in 2010 and comparable to the five year average of 20. One of these resulted in a release of dangerous goods.

In 2011, 37% of assigned factors5 for main-track derailments were equipment-related, compared to 29% in 2010 and the five-year average of 31%. Track-related factors represents 34% of assigned factors in 2011, compared to 36% in 2010 and 37% for the five-year average.

Non-main-track collisions (Tables 5a and 5b) totalled 88 in 2011, down from 93 in 2010 (Figure 7) and down from the five-year average of 98. Derailments occurred in 43% of non-main-track collisions, and 74% of these non-main-track collisions involved the derailment of one or two cars.

Figure 7 - Non-main-track collisions and derailments, 2002-2011 [D]

figure 7 - Non-Main-Track Collisions and  Derailments, 2002-2011

No fatalities or serious injuries resulted from non-main-track collisions in 2011.

Dangerous goods were involved in 23% of non-main-track collisions, none of which resulted in a release of product.

Factors assigned to non-main-track collisions were mostly rules-related (87%) (e.g., non-compliance with prescribed procedures). Failure to protect, such as improper positioning of movements and handling of switches, was assigned most often as a factor.

There were 485 non-main-track derailments in 2011 (Tables 6a and 6b), down 10% from last year and also down 18% from the five-year average of 588 (Figure 7). In 76% of these accidents, one or two cars derailed.

No fatalities or serious injuries resulted from non-main-track derailments in 2011.

Dangerous goods cars were involved in 15% of non-main-track derailments, and one resulted in a release of dangerous goods.

In 2011, track-related factors assigned to non-main-track derailments represented 30% of all assigned factors compared to 37% for the five-year average, rules-related factors (e.g., non-compliance with prescribed procedures) represented 44% of all assigned factors, which is unchanged from the five-year average. Environmental-related factors represented 10% of all assigned factors in 2011 compared to 5% for the five-year average. Note that factors assigned in an accident are considered to have acted in combination to contribute to the occurrence.

Crossing accidents (Tables 7 and 8) represent one of the most serious types of rail accidents in terms of casualties; in 2011, 25% resulted in either serious or fatal injuries. Although crossing accidents do not usually result in substantial damage to railway property or equipment, the motor vehicles involved are usually heavily damaged or destroyed.

There were 169 crossing accidents in 2011, down from 181 recorded in 2010 and down from the five-year average of 210. Accidents at public automated crossings (86) decreased 2% from the 2010 total of 88 and decreased 19% from the five-year average of 106. Accidents at public passive crossings (60) decreased 10% from the 2010 total of 67. Accidents at private crossings (15) decreased 55% from the five-year average of 33.

The proportion of crossing accidents that occurred at public automated crossings increased from 49% in 2010 to 51% in 2011 (Figure 8). Although there are nearly twice as many public passive crossings as public automated ones, the higher number of accidents occurring at automated crossings is due, in part, to higher vehicle and train traffic volumes at these crossings.

Figure 8 - Crossing accidents by type of crossing, 2011 [D]

Figure 8 - Crossing Accidents by Type of Crossing, 2011

There were 24 fatal crossing accidents in 2011, up from 19 in 2010 and from the five-year average of 21. Although crossing accidents involving pedestrians accounted for only 6% of crossing accidents in 2011, they accounted for 64% of fatal crossing accidents. Crossing-related fatalities totaled 25 in 2011 compared to 24 for both last year and the five-year average.

In 2011, 4 crossing accidents resulted in derailments, up from the 2010 total of 3 but down from the five year average of 5.

In 2011, the distribution of crossing accidents throughout the provinces has changed over the previous nine years: for the first time in this time-frame, Alberta was the province where the most crossing accidents occurred with 27% of all crossing accidents, compared to 22% for the five-year average (Figure 9). Ontario has the second highest total, with 23% of crossings accidents compared to 27% for the five-year average. These two provinces are followed by Quebec with 15%, Saskatchewan with 14% and British-Columbia with 12% of crossing accidents in Canada.

Figure 9 - Crossing accidents by province [D]

Figure 9 - Crossing Accidents by Province

Trespasser accidents (Table 9) involve persons, primarily pedestrians, not authorized to be on railway rights-of-way and who are struck by rolling stock other than at railway crossings. They totaled 67 in 2011, down from the 2010 total of 81 and also down from the five-year average of 84.

In 2011, Ontario accounted for 48% of trespasser accidents with a total of 32, British Columbia accounted for 19%, and Quebec accounted for 13% of all trespasser accidents.

In 2011, the proportion of trespasser accidents that were fatal (66%) was similar to the five-year average of 64%. The proportion of trespasser accidents resulting in serious injuries (31%) was higher than the five-year average of 26%.

Figure 10 - Trespasser accidents by province [D]

Figure 10 - Trespasser accidents by province

Incidents

Overview of incidents (Table 10)

In 2011, there were 204 reported rail incidents, up from 160 in 2010 but comparable to the five-year average of 205. Movement exceeded the limit of authority (118) continue to be the main incident type since 2006, followed by dangerous goods leakers (51) and runaway rolling stock (15).

Figure 11 - Rail incidents, 2002-2011 [D]

Figure 11 - Rail Incidents, 2002-2011

In 2011, there were 118 incidents where the movement exceeded the limit of authority6, a 16% increase from 102 recorded in 2010 and a 12% increase from the five-year average of 105 (Figure 12).

Figure 12 - Rail incidents by type [D]

Figure 12 - Rail Incidents by Type

A dangerous goods (DG) leaker incident involves the unintentional release of a hazardous material while in transit and does not involve an accident. The vast majority of these incidents involve small quantities of products. The reported DG leaker incidents totaled 50 in 2011, which is a 28% increase from the 2010 total of 40 but a 28% decrease from the five-year average of 70. In 2002, DG leaker incidents represented 52% of all incidents. In 2011, DG leaker incidents accounted for 25% of reported rail incidents (Figure 12).

Appendix A: Rail occurrence tables


Table 1. Railway occurrences and casualties, 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Accidents 1332 1352 1413 1476 1371 1320 1179 1043 1076 1023
Main-track collisions 9 6 5 6 2 9 7 5 4 3
Main-track derailments - 1-2 cars 66 83 96 103 83 76 66 39 40 46
Main-track derailments - 3 or more cars 58 73 64 95 56 83 62 28 40 57
Crossing accidents 260 250 236 269 243 218 221 188 181 169
Non-main-track collisions 131 111 123 98 110 102 91 95 93 88
Non-main-track derailments - 1-2 cars (a) 482 525 562 587 567 456 427 383 431 370
Non-main-track derailments - 3 or more cars (a) 182 170 151 171 136 175 143 114 110 115
Collisions/Derailments involving track units 11 23 26 19 17 30 27 50 34 33
Employee/Passenger accidents 8 7 12 8 16 18 12 12 9 11
Trespasser accidents 73 65 100 83 91 101 73 72 81 67
Fires/Explosions 25 23 15 17 25 25 12 20 30 23
Other accident types 27 16 23 20 25 27 38 37 23 41
Reportable incidents 308 294 257 245 220 223 216 207 160 204
Dangerous goods leaker 167 150 131 123 82 88 64 78 40 51
Main-track switch in abnormal position 9 11 12 10 7 7 13 4 5 10
Movement exceeds limits of authority 99 102 95 91 101 106 111 106 102 118
Runaway rolling stock 18 13 11 16 12 13 16 11 5 15
Other reportable incidents 15 18 8 5 18 9 12 8 8 10
Main-track accidents (b) 190 207 221 252 209 257 209 169 161 192
Million main-track train-miles (MMTTM) (c) 81.3 80.6 82.6 85.8 86.9 84.5 83.1 72.2 77.6 78.3
Main-track accidents/MMTTM 2.3 2.6 2.7 2.9 2.4 3.0 2.5 2.3 2.1 2.5
Accidents involving dangerous goods 221 226 208 212 185 190 153 133 141 118
Main-track derailments 25 38 37 32 18 35 23 11 13 21
Crossing accidents 6 3 11 15 5 6 4 3 7 1
Non-main-track collisions 48 37 44 44 41 41 33 32 26 20
Non-main-track derailments 129 139 106 112 109 100 84 81 88 71
Other accident types 13 9 10 9 12 8 9 6 7 5
Accidents with a dangerous goods release 5 9 7 7 4 3 3 3 2 3
Fatalities for reportable occurrences 96 79 101 103 95 84 74 71 81 71
Crossing accidents 46 28 25 37 28 25 26 19 24 25
Trespasser accidents 50 45 68 64 59 56 47 52 55 45
Other occurrence types (d) 0 6 8 2 8 3 1 0 2 1
Serious injuries for reportable occurrences 73 81 93 78 71 58 64 50 62 51
Crossing accidents 42 52 50 55 29 21 36 21 28 21
Trespasser accidents 21 19 34 17 28 27 20 16 19 21
Other occurrence types (d) 10 10 9 6 14 10 8 13 15 9
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
a. Data from 2002 to 2007 have been adjusted in light of clarifications to industry of TSB's reporting requirements.
b. Accidents which occurred on main-track or spurs, excluding crossing and trespasser accidents.
c. Main-track train-miles are estimated (Source: Transport Canada).
d. See Table 2 for details on occurrences by type.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Table 2. Fatalities and serious injuries (type of occurrence, person type), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Fatalities for reportable occurrences 96 79 101 103 95 84 74 71 81 71
Main-track collisions 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Main-track derailments 0 2 2 0 3 1 0 0 1 0
Crossing accidents 46 28 25 37 28 25 26 19 24 25
Non-main-track collisions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track derailments 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Collisions/Derailments involving track units 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Employee/Passenger accidents 0 1 5 2 4 1 1 0 1 1
Trespasser accidents 50 45 68 64 59 56 47 52 55 45
Other accident types 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Reportable incidents 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Serious injuries for reportable occurrences 73 81 93 78 71 58 64 50 62 51
Main-track collisions 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Main-track derailments 0 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 8 0
Crossing accidents 42 52 50 55 29 21 36 21 28 21
Non-main-track collisions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track derailments 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Collisions/Derailments involving track units 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1
Employee/Passenger accidents 6 4 7 4 10 8 7 8 7 7
Trespasser accidents 21 19 34 17 28 27 20 16 19 21
Other accident types 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1
Reportable incidents 2 3 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 0
Fatalities by person type 96 79 101 103 95 84 74 71 81 71
Employees 0 6 6 2 6 2 1 0 1 1
Passengers 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0
Pedestrians 10 6 4 11 9 11 13 4 8 6
Vehicle occupants 38 23 23 28 16 17 14 17 15 22
Trespassers 48 44 68 62 60 54 43 49 55 42
Other person types 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 1 0
Serious injuries by person type 73 81 93 78 71 58 64 50 62 51
Employees 10 11 9 6 14 11 11 13 10 8
Passengers 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 7 0
Pedestrians 6 6 2 3 5 6 3 0 4 5
Vehicle occupants 36 44 48 51 25 17 30 22 22 17
Trespassers 21 20 32 17 25 24 19 14 19 21
Other person types 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 3. Number of trains (rolling stock) involved in accidents by train type and accident type, 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Freight trains 911 916 991 1078 1015 1043 991 799 829 808
Main-track collisions 16 10 7 6 2 12 9 8 6 4
Main-track derailments 123 153 149 189 134 155 118 64 74 101
Non-main-track collisions 130 104 119 88 115 96 97 82 93 94
Non-main-track derailments 319 339 413 486 445 476 478 395 411 388
Crossing accidents 233 221 194 220 198 178 186 149 138 133
Trespasser accidents 44 47 73 58 70 69 50 51 54 43
Other accident types 46 42 36 31 51 57 53 50 53 45
Passenger trains 66 56 80 84 72 83 79 68 62 70
Main-track collisions 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Main-track derailments 0 2 3 5 3 0 3 0 3 2
Non-main-track collisions 0 6 5 4 1 4 3 1 1 5
Non-main-track derailments 7 11 10 10 10 8 17 11 8 5
Crossing accidents 22 17 32 37 34 28 24 25 21 18
Trespasser accidents 29 18 26 24 18 32 21 20 26 24
Other accident types 8 1 3 4 6 11 9 11 3 16
Track units 18 41 55 40 41 50 49 82 63 59
Main-track collisions 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Main-track derailments 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track collisions 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track derailments 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Crossing accidents 1 5 8 8 7 3 6 4 9 7
Trespasser accidents 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Other accident types 17 35 46 32 33 46 43 78 53 52
Single car/Cut of cars 80 92 93 94 144 145 107 141 117 100
Main-track collisions 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1
Main-track derailments 2 1 0 0 1 3 1 1 0 0
Non-main-track collisions 50 49 61 49 63 61 52 89 68 52
Non-main-track derailments 22 32 20 37 73 76 49 42 40 36
Crossing accidents 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0
Trespasser accidents 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other accident types 5 10 12 8 6 4 3 6 9 11
Other train/rolling stock types (a) 361 349 314 271 209 120 64 84 133 97
Main-track collisions 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0
Main-track derailments 2 3 8 5 1 4 6 2 3 2
Non-main-track collisions 26 14 18 12 13 10 8 8 20 15
Non-main-track derailments 324 322 283 242 182 85 37 59 93 61
Crossing accidents 4 7 2 4 5 10 8 8 13 11
Trespasser accidents 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 1 2 0
Other accident types 5 3 3 6 6 10 3 6 1 8
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
As some accidents may involve more than one train (rolling stock), the number of trains involved may differ from the total number of accidents.
a. Other train/rolling stock types include mainly locomotive. Note that from 2002 to 2007, the categories also include uncategorized data submitted in June 2007 as a result of clarification to industry of TSB reporting requirements.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 4a. Main-track derailments (province, number of derailed cars), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Main-track derailments by province 124 156 160 198 139 159 128 67 80 103
Newfoundland & Labrador 1 0 0 2 1 1 1 0 3 1
Nova Scotia 1 0 2 0 1 2 0 1 0 1
New Brunswick 0 2 3 3 0 6 1 1 0 0
Quebec 26 27 23 26 21 12 16 8 10 9
Ontario 39 59 52 60 41 39 35 21 19 24
Manitoba 12 6 10 10 9 12 13 4 6 11
Saskatchewan 10 14 15 24 12 18 14 9 14 11
Alberta 16 19 23 29 20 30 30 13 14 21
British Columbia 19 29 32 44 34 39 18 10 14 25
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Derailments per million main-track train-miles (a) 1.53 1.94 1.94 2.31 1.60 1.88 1.54 0.93 1.03 1.32
Derailments per billion gross ton-miles (b) 0.31 0.38 0.36 0.43 0.30 0.34 0.28 0.17 0.18  
Derailments by number of derailed cars 124 156 160 198 139 159 128 67 80 103
1 car 53 75 81 87 66 62 54 29 29 36
2 cars 13 8 15 16 17 14 12 10 11 10
3 cars 4 8 6 9 3 10 6 3 2 6
4 cars 6 5 7 9 0 8 5 3 3 6
5 to 10 cars 26 35 22 40 23 27 24 12 18 25
11 cars or more 22 25 29 37 30 38 27 10 17 20
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
a. The source of the million main-track train-miles is Transport Canada. Data are estimated.
b. The source of the billion gross ton-miles is the Railway Association of Canada.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 4b. Main-track derailments (assigned factors), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Total number of assigned factors 144 173 191 229 173 181 152 81 89 105
Environmental 2 5 7 10 8 17 12 6 1 6
Equipment 62 62 72 84 54 61 42 23 26 39
Axle 18 20 14 21 5 14 11 5 7 9
Brakes 10 6 9 13 8 8 3 6 2 5
Draft system 5 5 13 10 5 10 4 4 4 3
Superstrucure 7 6 3 7 6 8 5 0 2 3
Truck 12 13 12 8 8 5 5 1 5 4
Wheel 10 12 19 23 21 16 12 7 6 15
Track 46 67 72 87 67 58 61 34 32 36
Geometry 26 31 23 34 24 24 22 12 14 15
Object on track 2 1 0 4 2 1 1 1 2 2
Other track material 2 1 8 2 4 2 6 5 2 2
Rail 10 21 25 35 25 18 27 7 8 11
Roadbed 1 4 7 2 8 3 4 5 2 5
Switch 1 1 3 2 2 0 1 2 2 1
Turnouts 4 7 3 4 0 6 0 0 1 0
Actions 19 26 23 29 21 20 20 10 24 17
Failure to protect 3 5 4 4 3 4 8 3 2 5
Failure to secure 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Failure to use equipment properly 12 11 6 11 6 6 6 5 10 7
Improper loading/lifting 1 0 1 1 2 3 1 1 3 0
Improper placement/position for task 1 2 6 5 1 2 1 0 4 2
Inadequate/Inappropriate maintenance of equipment 1 2 3 4 4 1 3 0 1 0
Operating at improper speed 1 4 1 2 5 1 1 0 3 2
Vandalism 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Other actions 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 1 1
Other assigned factors 15 13 17 19 23 25 17 8 6 7
Derailments by number of assigned factors 124 156 160 198 139 159 128 67 80 103
One factor assigned 108 135 137 171 119 145 116 58 72 85
More than one factor assigned 14 14 21 24 18 12 12 9 7 10
No factor assigned 2 7 2 3 2 2 0 0 1 8
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings. Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
Some factors are assigned by highest category (e.g. Equipment or Track), therefore the breakdowns may not sum up to the category total.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 5a. Non-main-track collisions (province, number of derailed cars), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Non-main-track collisions by province 131 111 123 98 110 102 91 95 93 88
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
New Brunswick 1 2 1 1 5 1 3 1 1 1
Quebec 19 15 20 17 19 11 5 6 11 12
Ontario 53 47 28 28 25 29 26 24 15 16
Manitoba 14 7 14 11 7 13 9 15 14 15
Saskatchewan 5 10 4 5 8 10 10 5 3 8
Alberta 20 20 33 20 24 23 27 25 29 16
British Columbia 19 7 23 16 21 14 10 19 20 20
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Collisions by number of derailed cars 131 111 123 98 110 102 91 95 93 88
No cars derailed 79 68 69 63 56 41 33 49 51 50
1 car 21 20 26 14 28 23 23 26 23 20
2 cars 16 13 14 12 10 15 11 8 7 8
3 cars 8 1 9 5 7 8 9 5 4 3
4 cars 3 4 2 1 4 8 8 3 4 5
5 to 10 cars 2 4 3 3 5 5 5 3 3 2
11 cars or more 2 1 0 0 0 2 2 1 1 0
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 5b. Non-main-track collisions (assigned factors), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Total number of assigned factors 153 122 148 118 129 119 98 107 110 101
Environmental 3 1 3 4 1 4 1 4 1 2
Equipment 2 6 1 1 1 4 1 2 1 3
Track 5 6 4 10 2 2 4 6 5 1
Actions 112 87 114 83 109 90 72 83 95 88
Failure to protect 78 62 70 52 64 59 49 55 64 62
Failure to secure 16 13 30 16 26 18 6 12 10 10
Failure to use equipment properly 10 4 8 4 6 5 10 11 9 8
Improper placement/position for task 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 0
Inadequate/Inappropriate communications 3 3 1 2 2 3 0 1 3 3
Inadequate/Inappropriate maintenance of equipment 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Operating at improper speed 1 2 3 6 8 5 7 4 6 5
Vandalism 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Other actions 2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
Other assigned factors 31 22 26 20 16 19 20 12 8 7
Collisions by number of assigned factors 131 111 123 98 110 102 91 95 93 88
One factor assigned 108 97 99 78 92 89 86 83 76 71
More than one factor assigned 22 12 23 19 17 13 4 12 17 15
No factor assigned 1 2 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 2
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings. Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
Some factors are assigned by highest category (e.g. Actions), therefore the breakdowns may not sum up to the category total.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 6a. Non-main-track derailments (province, number of derailed cars), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Non-main-track derailments by province 664 695 713 758 703 631 570 497 541 485
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0
Nova Scotia 21 39 23 13 14 6 3 4 4 3
New Brunswick 26 26 19 16 24 11 16 8 9 13
Quebec 116 140 150 133 117 67 70 50 59 59
Ontario 246 227 227 233 201 164 135 108 112 106
Manitoba 53 63 58 57 52 48 65 73 65 53
Saskatchewan 34 45 57 70 48 68 50 43 62 75
Alberta 81 75 94 125 143 146 109 127 148 104
British Columbia 86 80 85 109 103 120 122 80 82 71
Northwest Territories/Yukon 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 1
Derailments by number of derailed cars 664 695 713 758 703 631 570 497 541 485
1 car 340 372 406 419 397 327 291 278 294 262
2 cars 142 153 156 168 170 129 136 105 137 108
3 cars 70 76 61 60 44 79 56 40 50 45
4 cars 35 34 38 34 40 40 24 32 16 29
5 to 10 cars 71 57 46 69 44 53 54 41 41 36
11 cars or more 6 3 6 8 8 3 9 1 3 5
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 6b. Non main-track derailments (assigned factors), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Total number of assigned factors 706 730 754 796 741 660 603 534 603 522
Environmental 14 45 38 33 18 40 47 22 27 54
Equipment 56 63 71 74 52 53 41 48 50 52
Axle 1 0 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 0
Brakes 11 11 12 21 13 9 12 18 13 10
Draft system 18 11 15 12 8 11 9 15 16 11
Superstrucure 9 15 10 11 9 9 7 4 2 11
Truck 9 13 15 13 11 7 4 3 9 6
Wheel 8 12 17 15 10 10 5 8 9 13
Track 224 205 251 292 282 236 230 205 214 155
Appurtenances 3 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 0 0
Geometry 69 81 91 112 97 100 86 94 94 62
Object on track 1 6 8 8 14 1 6 5 1 2
Other track material 25 19 22 21 25 14 8 11 13 5
Rail 30 24 24 24 32 29 31 24 22 18
Roadbed 8 4 13 13 6 8 8 5 15 24
Signals 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Switch 32 31 42 51 48 34 55 37 49 29
Turnouts 52 35 41 54 48 32 27 24 16 12
Actions 369 352 336 349 329 282 254 221 287 230
Failure to protect 182 198 176 202 193 181 165 147 174 131
Failure to secure 16 22 26 22 7 8 9 3 7 2
Failure to use equipment properly 123 80 81 84 93 66 48 47 69 69
Improper loading/lifting 5 5 1 8 3 0 7 2 5 7
Improper placement/position for task 8 10 9 14 10 6 4 9 8 8
Inadequate/Inappropriate communications 3 2 5 4 4 1 5 2 3 2
Inadequate/Inappropriate maintenance of equipment 11 4 9 2 5 7 0 0 2 0
Operating at improper speed 7 12 11 4 6 5 9 6 14 4
Vandalism 10 12 12 6 7 5 5 4 5 6
Other actions 4 7 6 3 1 3 2 1 0 1
Other assigned factors 43 65 58 48 60 49 31 38 25 31
Derailments by number of assigned factors 664 695 713 758 703 631 570 497 541 485
One factor assigned 612 617 643 695 630 586 538 465 482 410
More than one factor assigned 42 54 50 49 51 36 31 32 59 56
No factor assigned 10 24 20 14 22 9 1 0 0 19
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings. Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
Some factors are assigned by highest category (e.g. Equipment or Track), therefore the breakdowns may not sum up to the category total.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Table 7. Crossing accidents by type and protection, 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Crossing accidents 260 250 236 269 243 218 221 188 181 169
Public crossings 224 209 183 231 197 181 177 157 155 146
Passive warnings 96 69 64 70 77 73 63 56 67 60
Automated warnings 128 140 119 161 120 108 114 101 88 86
Flashing lights & bells 86 88 77 105 76 63 73 55 56 49
Gates 42 51 42 53 36 37 39 44 30 36
Other automated warnings 0 1 0 3 8 8 2 2 2 1
Private crossings 32 35 49 33 44 31 38 30 24 15
Farm crossings 4 6 4 5 2 6 6 1 2 8
Fatal accidents 41 24 21 34 25 22 24 17 19 24
Fatalities 46 28 25 37 28 25 26 19 24 25
Public crossings 43 24 25 32 25 23 25 18 23 21
Passive warnings 16 8 6 7 8 5 5 6 5 5
Automated warnings 27 16 19 25 17 18 20 12 18 16
Flashing lights & bells 14 9 11 13 10 8 9 6 8 9
Gates 13 7 8 12 7 9 11 6 10 7
Other automated warnings 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Private crossings 3 2 0 4 3 2 0 1 1 1
Farm crossings 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 3
Serious injuries 42 52 50 55 29 21 36 21 28 21
Public crossings 37 46 47 48 27 21 30 20 25 19
Passive warnings 18 14 15 9 8 13 12 9 14 3
Automated warnings 19 32 32 39 19 8 18 11 11 16
Flashing lights & bells 13 24 21 23 13 5 16 8 5 8
Gates 6 8 11 15 6 3 2 3 6 8
Other automated warnings 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Private crossings 5 6 3 6 2 0 4 1 3 1
Farm crossings 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 1
Number of public crossings (a) 19,973 19,732 18,678 18,216 18,553 17,450 n/a 17,425 16,718 16,413
Passive warnings 13,713 13,442 12,501 12,060 12,138 11,439 n/a 11,722 11,112 10,826
Automated warnings 6,260 6,290 6,177 6,156 6,415 6,011 n/a 5,703 5,606 5,587
Flashing lights & bells 4,353 4,309 4,147 4,059 4,193 3,827 n/a 3,526 3,365 3,308
Gates 1,876 1,958 2,007 2,073 2,175 2,150 n/a 2,116 2,181 2,220
Other automated warnings 31 23 23 24 47 34 n/a 61 61 59
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
a. Source: Transport Canada IRIS database. The data for 2011 was provided on May 1, 2012. Figures for previous years are shapshots provided historically by Transport Canada.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 8. Crossing accidents by province, 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Crossing accidents 260 250 236 269 243 218 221 188 181 169
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Nova Scotia 1 2 2 5 4 3 0 3 3 1
New Brunswick 1 9 2 3 2 2 2 4 5 6
Quebec 44 36 62 56 39 39 27 28 21 26
Ontario 75 79 69 92 66 52 66 48 52 38
Manitoba 36 28 19 18 20 20 13 18 20 7
Saskatchewan 24 24 16 19 26 23 28 24 24 23
Alberta 55 38 38 56 56 48 54 36 38 46
British Columbia 24 33 26 18 29 31 31 25 18 20
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 0
Crossing accidents on main-track (a) 251 245 229 259 233 211 212 180 175 165
Crossing accidents per million main-track train-miles (b) 3.1 3.0 2.8 3.0 2.7 2.5 2.6 2.5 2.3 2.1
Crossing accidents with derailment 9 4 9 12 4 6 6 6 3 4
Fatalities 46 28 25 37 28 25 26 19 24 25
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
New Brunswick 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
Quebec 9 4 9 7 7 1 6 1 1 4
Ontario 15 15 12 16 13 12 12 3 6 9
Manitoba 5 2 1 2 2 1 2 3 2 2
Saskatchewan 3 4 1 2 1 2 3 5 5 1
Alberta 10 3 2 6 4 5 2 3 6 5
British Columbia 4 0 0 3 1 4 1 3 2 2
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Serious injuries 42 52 50 55 29 21 36 21 28 21
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0
New Brunswick 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Quebec 6 5 14 11 4 2 3 3 3 4
Ontario 14 19 11 21 9 7 11 3 5 6
Manitoba 3 4 6 1 4 2 4 3 5 1
Saskatchewan 4 4 3 4 2 4 5 4 2 2
Alberta 12 11 9 12 8 4 7 5 8 4
British Columbia 2 8 5 3 1 1 5 3 3 4
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Number of public crossings (c) 19,973 19,732 18,678 18,216 18,553 17,450 n/a 17,425 16,718 16,413
Newfoundland & Labrador 7 7 7 7 7 5 n/a 5 5 5
Nova Scotia 154 119 119 119 160 119 n/a 180 180 180
New Brunswick 253 251 190 190 308 148 n/a 347 340 340
Quebec 1,573 1,696 1,680 1,660 1,767 1,662 n/a 1,958 1,964 1,966
Ontario 4,870 4,913 4,772 4,768 4,947 4,083 n/a 4,312 3,996 3,915
Manitoba 2,679 2,398 2,372 2,360 2,363 2,309 n/a 2,027 2,003 2,002
Saskatchewan 5,870 5,995 5,764 5,462 5,439 4,986 n/a 4,065 3,933 3,710
Alberta 3,704 3,484 2,872 2,791 2,655 2,854 n/a 3,009 2,786 2,783
British Columbia 855 850 883 840 888 1,265 n/a 1,507 1,485 1,486
Northwest Territories/Yukon 7 19 19 19 19 19 n/a 15 26 26
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
a. Includes crossing accidents on main-track or on spurs.
b. The source for million main-track train-miles is Transport Canada. Data is estimated.
c. Source: Transport Canada IRIS database. The data for 2011 was provided on May 1, 2012. Figures for previous years are shapshots provided historically by Transport Canada.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
Table 9. Trespasser accidents by province, 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Trespasser accidents 73 65 100 83 91 101 73 72 81 67
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 2 2 0 2 1 0 0 1
New Brunswick 2 0 0 2 1 4 2 3 1 2
Quebec 13 6 16 14 9 12 13 12 13 9
Ontario 43 38 45 43 43 47 37 35 35 32
Manitoba 3 3 3 6 5 7 4 1 3 1
Saskatchewan 0 2 3 0 2 0 3 4 3 2
Alberta 3 7 16 6 17 14 7 4 9 7
British Columbia 9 9 14 10 14 15 6 13 17 13
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fatal accidents 50 45 67 64 58 56 47 52 53 44
Fatalities 50 45 68 64 59 56 47 52 55 45
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
New Brunswick 2 0 0 1 0 3 2 3 0 1
Quebec 9 4 10 12 6 7 10 7 10 8
Ontario 33 30 32 33 31 32 24 30 27 26
Manitoba 1 2 3 4 1 2 2 1 2 1
Saskatchewan 0 0 4 0 1 0 2 2 2 1
Alberta 1 5 11 5 11 7 4 3 6 2
British Columbia 4 4 7 8 9 4 3 6 8 6
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Serious injuries 21 19 34 17 28 27 20 16 19 21
Newfoundland & Labrador 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
New Brunswick 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
Quebec 3 2 6 2 3 3 0 3 4 2
Ontario 9 7 13 9 13 7 12 5 5 6
Manitoba 2 1 0 1 3 4 2 0 1 0
Saskatchewan 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1
Alberta 2 2 5 1 3 4 2 1 3 4
British Columbia 5 5 8 2 4 8 2 6 5 7
Northwest Territories/Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Table 10. Reportable incidents (incident type, assigned factors), 2002-2011
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Reportable incidents 308 294 257 245 220 223 216 207 160 204
Dangerous goods leaker 167 150 131 123 82 88 64 78 40 51
Main-track switch in abnormal position 9 11 12 10 7 7 13 4 5 10
Movement exceeds limits of authority 99 102 95 91 101 106 111 106 102 118
Runaway rolling stock 18 13 11 16 12 13 16 11 5 15
Signal less restrictive than required 3 2 1 1 6 0 3 1 4 3
Unprotected overlap of authorities 6 10 5 3 7 8 7 7 3 7
Crew member incapacitated 6 6 2 1 5 1 2 0 1 0
Total assigned factors 310 315 267 257 217 173 225 212 167 198
Dangerous goods leaker location/component 164 144 131 124 78 73 61 77 40 50
Equipment 3 7 2 1 1 0 5 2 2 0
Individual/Personal 29 40 20 17 13 4 3 0 0 0
Track 3 3 0 2 3 0 2 2 1 5
Actions 104 118 111 112 116 90 148 130 114 132
Failure to protect 39 40 39 35 31 38 55 34 35 50
Failure to secure 9 8 6 11 8 1 10 6 4 9
Failure to use equipment properly 3 5 6 2 5 1 3 4 3 5
Inadequate/Inappropriate communication 3 5 5 7 11 4 6 8 8 11
Lap of authority 45 58 48 50 55 41 65 72 59 54
Vandalism 2 1 4 4 0 3 1 3 1 2
Other actions 3 1 3 3 6 2 8 3 4 1
Other assigned factors 7 3 3 1 6 6 6 1 10 11
Incidents by number of assigned factors 308 294 257 245 220 223 216 207 160 204
One factor assigned 244 233 212 199 164 163 206 202 153 184
More than one factor assigned 33 40 27 28 24 5 9 5 7 7
No factor assigned 31 21 18 18 32 55 1 0 0 13
Data extracted February 15, 2012.
Federally regulated railway occurrences.
TSB does not investigate all occurrences; therefore, assigned factors may not represent TSB findings. Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. The TSB may assign additional factors.
Some factors are assigned by highest category (e.g. Actions), therefore the breakdowns may not sum up to the category total.
Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Appendix B: Definitions and explanatory notes

Definitions

The following definitions apply to railway occurrences that are required to be reported pursuant to the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and the associated regulations.

Railway occurrence

  1. Any accident or incident associated with the operation of rolling stock on a railway, and
  2. Any situation or condition that the Board has reasonable grounds to believe could, if left unattended, induce an accident or incident described in paragraph (a) above.

Reportable railway accident

An accident resulting directly from the operation of rolling stock, where:

  1. a person sustains a serious injury or is killed as a result of:
    1. being on board or getting off the rolling stock, or
    2. coming into contact with any part of the rolling stock or its contents, or
  2. the rolling stock:
    1. is involved in a grade-crossing collision,
    2. is involved in a collision or derailment and is carrying passengers,
    3. is involved in a collision or derailment and is carrying dangerous goods, or is known to have last contained dangerous goods the residue of which has not been purged from the rolling stock,
    4. sustains damage that affects its safe operation, or
    5. causes or sustains a fire or explosion, or causes damage to the railway, that poses a threat to the safety of any person, property or the environment.

Reportable railway incident

An incident resulting directly from the operation of rolling stock, where:

  1. a risk of collision occurs;
  2. an unprotected main track switch is left in an abnormal position;
  3. a railway signal displays a less restrictive indication than that required for the intended movement of rolling stock;
  4. an unprotected overlap of operating authorities occurs;
  5. a movement of rolling stock exceeds the limits of its authority;
  6. there is runaway rolling stock;
  7. any crew member whose duties are directly related to the safe operation of the rolling stock is unable to perform the crew member's duties as a result of a physical incapacitation that poses a threat to the safety of any person, property or the environment; or
  8. any dangerous goods are released on board or from the rolling stock.

Serious injury

An injury that is likely to require admission to a hospital.

Dangerous goods involvement

An accident is considered to have dangerous goods involvement if any car in the consist carrying (or having last contained) a dangerous good derails, strikes or is struck by any other rolling stock or object. It does not mean that there was any release of any product. Also included are crossing accidents in which the motor vehicle involved (e.g. tanker truck) is carrying a dangerous good.

Explanatory notes

Accidents by railway

Accident totals are not presented by railway. The track, train and personnel in an occurrence may all belong to different companies; also an occurrence may have several contributing factors. Presenting data based purely on one of these criteria or factors would be misleading, and misinterpretation of data by readers could unfairly affect a company's competitive position.


  1. Refer to Appendix B for a definition of a reportable railway accident.
  2. Trespasser accidents involve persons, primarily pedestrians, not authorized to be on railway rights-of-way and who are struck by rolling stock other than at railway crossings.
  3. A crossing accident is when a railway rolling stock is involved in a grade-crossing collision with a motor vehicle or pedestrian, resulting in death, serious injury or property damage.
  4. As provided to TSB by the Strategic Information Branch of Transport Canada.
  5. Occurrences are normally only reported to TSB with one assigned factor. Since multiple factors can contribute to an occurrence, the TSB may assign additional factors to an occurrence.
  6. Movement exceeds limits of authority is when a train or track unit movement occupies a main track (including signalled sidings, signalled yard tracks and station tracks) or portion thereof without the required authorization.