Rail news release 2009

TSB # R03/2009

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA MAKES TWO RECOMMENDATIONS FOLLOWING A RAIL ACCIDENT IN PINCOURT, QUEBEC


(Gatineau, Quebec, April 8, 2009) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) releases its final investigation report (R07D0111) today into the crossing collision between a VIA Rail Canada Inc. (VIA) train and a tractor-trailer that occurred on December 17, 2007 in Pincourt/Terrasse-Vaudreuil, Quebec. In its report, the TSB found that the geometric characteristics of the crossing and the presence of snow banks played a role in the accident at this high-speed, high-density level crossing. The investigation also noted that the lack of conspicuous railway emergency contact information presents a risk to drivers who find themselves immobilized on level crossings.

The Board makes two recommendations to mitigate the risk of level crossing accidents in the high-density Québec-Windsor rail corridor.

That Transport Canada conduct safety assessments of level crossings on the high-speed passenger rail Québec-Windsor corridor and ensure that defences are adequate to mitigate the risk of truck/train collisions.
R09-01


That Transport Canada implement standards to improve the visibility of emergency contact signage at railway crossings in Canada.
R09-02


On the afternoon of December 17, 2007, VIA passenger train No. 35, travelling westward at 62 mph on the south main track of Canadian National's Kingston Subdivision, struck an empty tractor-trailer that was immobilized on the 3e Avenue level public crossing, near Pincourt/Terrasse-Vaudreuil, Quebec. The tractor-trailer was destroyed; the locomotive was damaged and was unable to continue. Subsequently, 76 passengers were transferred to another VIA train and rail traffic was delayed for up to 3 ½ hours. The truck driver sustained minor injuries. There was no derailment and no track damage. Since 1997, there have been three accidents at the 3e Avenue crossing in which northbound tractor-trailers have become immobilized and were struck by VIA trains.


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