Rail occurrence data review and follow-up

(October 2014)

Background

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) regularly reviews occurrence data to identify potential safety issues and potential data quality issues. These reviews involve examining individual occurrences and monitoring data trends.

2013–14 TSB review

The review of data trends revealed some unexpected patterns. Railway-specific reviews were conducted for Canadian National (CN), Canadian Pacific (CP) and Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA). Follow-up was also initiated with a few other railways.

Some previously unreported minor occurrences were identified in the course of the review. As a result, adjustments were made to the TSB’s Rail Occurrence Database System (RODS), and follow-up actions were taken with the railways.

Data trends review

The distribution of non-main-track derailments was assessed, and minor yard occurrences, such as one-car derailments and dangerous-goods leakers, were reviewed. Some unexpected variations were discerned.

Additional data requested from the railways were examined, leading to the identification of previously unreported minor occurrences.

Summary of CN data review

An additional 135 occurrences over a 7-year period (2007–2013) were identified as reportable. Of these, 94 were accidents and 41 were incidents. Most of the accidents involved single-car derailments in rail yards, with limited damage to track or equipment. Most of the incidents were DG leakers.

Table 1. Railway occurrencesFootnote * and casualties involving CN trains, 2004-2013 (additional occurrences shown in parentheses)Footnote
  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Accidents 686 679 665 674 (10) 527 (20) 538 (11) 521 (13) 505 (14) 491 (9) 494 (17)
Main-track collisions 3 2 1 4 3 4 1 3 4 1
Main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 47 46 51 39 (1) 34 24 16 22 13 17
Main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 36 56 33 57 27 14 20 33 18 16
Crossing accidents 106 112 97 92 78 84 70 80 86 81
Non-main-track collisions 59 46 66 79 (2) 62 (1) 64 72 (1) 71 (1) 75 64 (1)
Non-main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 287 260 274 209 (8) 185 (18) 190 (11) 205 (12) 163 (13) 169 (9) 183 (16)
Non-main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 94 109 71 113 78 78 62 71 62 58
Collisions/Derailments involving track units 13 8 9 16 11 30 10 9 12 15
Employee/Passenger accidents 5 5 9 11 6 8 9 1 5 6
Trespasser accidents 24 26 32 38 25 21 25 23 23 19
Fires/Explosions 5 3 6 3 2 3 14 11 9 7
Other accident types 7 6 16 13 16 18 17 18 15 27
Reportable incidents 115 116 91 97 95 71 (2) 108 (28) 99 (1) 122 (6) 128 (4)
Dangerous goods leaker 52 69 37 46 24 17 58 (28) 34 (1) 66 (3) 71 (1)
Main-track switch in abnormal position 4 3 1 1 4 3 0 1 2 2
Movement exceeds limits of authority 52 37 42 46 57 38 45 58 43 47
Runaway rolling stock 3 7 5 2 7 8 (2) 2 4 7 (3) 5 (3)
Other reportable incidents 4 0 6 2 3 5 3 2 4 3
Accidents involving dangerous goods 119 125 112 135 95 91 90 87 85 100
Main-track derailments 24 26 12 26 14 7 7 14 2 4
Crossing accidents 6 5 2 3 2 2 5 0 2 3
Non-main-track collisions 29 25 32 36 25 20 24 19 20 22
Non-main-track derailments 55 68 59 65 49 57 48 49 60 67
Other accident types 5 1 7 5 5 5 6 5 1 4
Accidents with a dangerous goods release 1 5 3 2 2 2 3 2 0 3
Fatalities for reportable occurrences 23 34 34 32 20 20 24 25 29 23
Crossing accidents 5 14 10 9 6 5 8 11 12 7
Trespasser accidents 16 19 20 22 13 15 15 14 16 13
Other occurrence types 2 1 4 1 1 0 1 0 1 3
Serious injuries for reportable occurrences 37 27 31 31 28 25 26 22 25 13
Crossing accidents 24 16 11 11 15 9 12 13 10 8
Trespasser accidents 9 7 11 13 8 7 7 8 7 4
Other occurrence types 4 4 9 7 5 9 7 1 8 1
  • Data extracted on November 10, 2014.
  • Table adjusted after final validation against detailed records.

Footnotes

Footnote *

Federally regulated railway occurrences

Return to footnote * referrer

Footnote †

Numbers in parentheses are additional data reported in response to the data review; they are included in the number not in parentheses

Return to footnote referrer

Footnote ‡

Data from 2003 to 2007 have been adjusted in light of clarifications to industry of TSB's reporting requirements

Return to footnote referrer

Summary of CP data review

An additional 100 occurrences over a 13-month period (starting January 2013) were identified as reportable. There was a variety of occurrence types, but most of the occurrences involved rail yard operations, with limited damage to track or equipment.

Table 2. Railway occurrencesFootnote * and casualties involving CP trains, 2004-2013 (additional occurrences shown in parentheses)Footnote
  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Accidents 546 603 534 498 514 389 460 403 437 485 (60)
Main-track collisions 2 3 1 5 3 1 3 0 2 1
Main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 38 40 25 33 24 12 21 17 15 29
Main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 23 26 15 19 27 9 14 16 9 13
Crossing accidents 77 92 93 83 99 64 79 62 81 83 (4)
Non-main-track collisions 60 44 39 20 28 28 22 15 24 26 (7)
Non-main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 215 282 243 212 213 171 217 195 209 214 (31)
Non-main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 49 52 52 53 58 30 41 37 39 43
Collisions/Derailments involving track units 11 9 4 13 15 19 20 20 12 23 (8)
Employee/Passenger accidents 6 3 4 2 5 3 0 6 0 1
Trespasser accidents 46 30 34 27 23 28 24 16 29 20
Fires/Explosions 10 13 18 21 9 15 15 12 7 4 (1)
Other accident types 9 9 6 10 10 9 4 7 10 28 (9)
Reportable incidents 78 86 74 94 67 65 54 72 66 68 (19)
Dangerous goods leaker 30 25 12 24 10 10 2 4 9 19 (15)
Main-track switch in abnormal position 8 5 6 5 5 1 4 7 2 4 (1)
Movement exceeds limits of authority 32 44 45 49 42 46 43 49 50 33 (2)
Runaway rolling stock 5 7 7 10 4 4 1 8 3 6
Other reportable incidents 3 5 4 6 6 4 4 4 2 6 (1)
Accidents involving dangerous goods 68 67 52 42 45 29 42 29 29 35
Main-track derailments 11 4 5 8 8 2 6 6 3 5
Crossing accidents 5 8 1 3 2 0 2 1 2 2
Non-main-track collisions 15 15 7 4 8 13 2 1 1 4
Non-main-track derailments 34 34 34 24 24 13 31 20 23 24
Other accident types 3 6 5 3 3 1 1 1 0 0
Accidents with a dangerous goods release 5 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 3
Fatalities for reportable occurrences 40 38 30 20 22 24 24 16 30 28
Crossing accidents 5 16 8 10 8 7 6 6 15 13
Trespasser accidents 29 21 21 8 14 17 17 10 15 14
Other occurrence types 6 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 1
Serious injuries for reportable occurrences 39 23 25 15 26 19 18 18 30 12
Crossing accidents 18 14 11 7 15 8 11 7 20 7
Trespasser accidents 18 7 11 6 8 8 6 5 10 4
Other occurrence types 3 2 3 2 3 3 1 6 0 1
  • Data extracted on November 10, 2014.
  • Table adjusted after final validation against detailed records.
  • CP reported an additional 21 occurrences for 2014, not presented in this table.

Footnotes

Footnote *

Federally regulated railway occurrences

Return to footnote * referrer

Footnote †

Numbers in parentheses are additional data reported in response to the data review; they are included in the number not in parentheses

Return to footnote referrer

Footnote ‡

Data from 2003 to 2007 have been adjusted in light of clarifications to industry of TSB's reporting requirements

Return to footnote referrer

Summary of MMA data review

An additional 22 occurrences over a 3-year period (2010–2013) were identified as reportable, the majority of which involved non-main-track derailments, with limited damage to track or equipment.

Table 3. Railway occurrencesFootnote * and casualties involving MMA trains, 2004-2013 (additional occurrences shown in parentheses) Footnote
  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Accidents 25 33 7 8 6 2 8 9 (6) 18 (12) 14 (2)
Main-track collisions 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 (2) 2
Main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 (1) 2 (1) 1
Crossing accidents 10 7 4 4 2 2 1 2 (1) 1 0
Non-main-track collisions 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 (1)
Non-main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 13 15 0 2 2 0 5 4 (3) 11 (9) 8 (1)
Non-main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 (1) 1 2
Collisions/Derailments involving track units 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Employee/Passenger accidents 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Trespasser accidents 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
Fires/Explosions 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other accident types 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Reportable incidents 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 (1) 2 (1) 1
Dangerous goods leaker 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1
Main-track switch in abnormal position 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Movement exceeds limits of authority 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Runaway rolling stock 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 (1) 1 (1) 0
Other reportable incidents 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Accidents involving dangerous goods 2 0 0 0 3 0 1 2 (1) 1 (1) 2
Main-track derailments 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Crossing accidents 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track collisions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-main-track derailments 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 2 (1) 1 (1) 1
Other accident types 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Accidents with a dangerous goods release 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Fatalities for reportable occurrences 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 47
Crossing accidents 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Trespasser accidents 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Other occurrence types 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 47
Serious injuries for reportable occurrences 1 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Crossing accidents 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Trespasser accidents 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other occurrence types 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • Data extracted on November 10, 2014.
  • Table adjusted after final validation against detailed records.

Footnotes

Footnote *

Federally regulated railway occurrences

Return to footnote * referrer

Footnote †

Numbers in parentheses are additional data reported in response to the data review; they are included in the number not in parentheses

Return to footnote referrer

Footnote ‡

Data from 2003 to 2007 have been adjusted in light of clarifications to industry of TSB's reporting requirements

Return to footnote referrer

Summary of data review findings

A total of 236 occurrences were identified for the period 2007–2013 and 21 occurrences for January 2014. All these occurrences were added to the TSB database. This represents an average of 34 additional occurrences per year. All these occurrences were minor in terms of scope and impact.

The annual accident rate per million train-miles was adjusted (increase of 0.1 or 0.2 per year, and 1.0 in 2013).

RODS data review and follow-up: overall changes

Table 4. Overall railway occurrencesFootnote * and casualties, 2004–2013 (additional CN, CP, and MMA train operation occurrences shown in parentheses)Footnote
  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Accidents 1413 1476 1371 1334 (10) 1199 (20) 1055 (11) 1089 (13) 1044 (20) 1041 (21) 1090 (79)
Main-track collisions 5 6 2 9 7 5 4 3 6 4
Main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 96 103 83 76 67 (1) 39 40 44 34 (2) 52
Main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 64 95 56 84 62 28 40 58 (1) 32 (1) 32
Crossing accidents 236 269 243 218 221 188 180 171 (1) 190 185 (4)
Non-main-track collisions 123 98 110 104 (2) 92 (1) 95 94 (1) 89 101 93 (9)
Non-main-track derailments - 1-2 carsFootnote 562 587 567 467 (8) 445 (18) 395 (11) 444 (12) 387 (16) 416 (18) 427 (48)
Non-main-track derailments - 3 or more carsFootnote 151 171 136 175 143 114 110 116 (1) 106 114
Collisions/Derailments involving track units 26 19 17 30 27 50 34 33 24 41 (8)
Employee/Passenger accidents 12 8 16 18 12 12 9 11 7 8
Trespasser accidents 100 83 91 101 73 72 81 67 74 58
Fires/Explosions 15 17 25 25 12 20 30 23 17 11 (1)
Other accident types 23 20 25 27 38 37 23 42 34 65 (9)
Reportable incidents 257 245 220 223 216 209 (2) 188 (28) 233 (2) 238 (7) 224 (23)
Dangerous goods leaker 131 123 82 88 64 78 68 (28) 79 (1) 93 (3) 94 (16)
Main-track switch in abnormal position 12 10 7 7 13 4 5 10 5 7 (1)
Movement exceeds limits of authority 95 91 101 106 111 106 101 118 120 98 (2)
Runaway rolling stock 11 16 12 13 16 13 (2) 5 16 (1) 13 (4) 13 (3)
Other reportable incidents 8 5 18 9 12 8 9 10 7 11 (1)
Accidents involving dangerous goods 208 212 185 191 153 133 141 119 (1) 119 (1) 145
Main-track derailments 37 32 18 35 23 11 13 20 6 11
Crossing accidents 11 15 5 6 4 3 7 1 4 5
Non-main-track collisions 44 44 41 41 33 32 26 20 21 26
Non-main-track derailments 106 112 109 101 84 81 88 72 (1) 87 (1) 98
Other accident types 10 9 12 8 9 6 7 6 1 5
Accidents with a dangerous goods release 6 7 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 7
Fatalities for reportable occurrences 101 103 95 84 74 71 81 71 83 127
Crossing accidents 25 37 28 25 26 19 24 25 30 31
Trespasser accidents 68 64 59 56 47 52 55 45 49 44
Other occurrence types 8 2 8 3 1 0 2 1 4 52
Serious injuries for reportable occurrences 93 78 71 58 64 50 62 52 72 39
Crossing accidents 50 55 29 21 36 21 28 22 32 27
Trespasser accidents 34 17 28 27 20 16 19 21 21 10
Other occurrence types 9 6 14 10 8 13 15 9 19 2
  • Data extracted on November 10, 2014.
  • Table adjusted after final validation against detailed records.
  • CP reported an additional 21 occurrences for 2014, not presented in this table.

Footnotes

Footnote *

Federally regulated railway occurrences

Return to footnote * referrer

Footnote †

Numbers in parentheses are additional data reported in response to the data review; they are included in the number not in parentheses

Return to footnote referrer

Footnote ‡

Data from 2003 to 2007 have been adjusted in light of clarifications to industry of TSB's reporting requirements

Return to footnote referrer

Figure 1. Impact of accident data correction on accident rate

TSB actions

  • Occurrence information was captured and added to the database.
  • Railway occurrence statistics were reviewed and updated.
  • Follow-up discussions were held with the railways regarding the previously unreported occurrences.
  • New TSB Regulations effective 1 July 2014 clarify occurrence reporting requirements.
  • Briefings were provided to specific railways and the Railway Association of Canada on the TSB reporting requirements and expectations.
  • A guidance document on railway occurrence reporting is being developed.
  • Periodic monitoring of railway occurrence data will continue.
  • Enforcement action will be considered, if necessary to ensure the timely reporting of all occurrences by all railways.