News release

2013 Train collision near Dunmore, Alberta, stresses need for action on Watchlist issues

Calgary, Alberta, 16 December 2015 – Today the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (R13C0049) into a May 2013 collision between two Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) trains just east of Dunmore, Alberta. The accident highlights the need for action on two of the TSB's Watchlist issues: following railway signal indications and on-board video and voice recorders.

On 18 May 2013, at about 1330 Mountain Daylight Time, a westbound CP train, approaching Dunmore on the Maple Creek Subdivision, passed a stop signal and struck the side of an eastbound CP train that was leaving Dunmore. Two locomotives and four cars derailed; a number of other cars were damaged but there was no impact to the environment. A train conductor suffered minor injuries.

The investigation found that the attention of the crew members on the westward train was likely diverted away from the task of establishing a common understanding of the wayside signals by the demands of other operational tasks. The train was then operated as though the way was clear. Because these occurrences continue to happen, the TSB has called for additional physical safety defences to ensure that railway signal indications governing operating speed or operating limits are consistently recognized and followed.

The investigation further found that until locomotive in-cab video and voice recorders are installed on lead locomotives, there is a risk that valuable information will continue to be unavailable. Objective data is integral in helping investigators understand the sequence of events leading to an accident and in identifying operational issues and human factors. That is why the TSB has called on the railway industry to ensure communications in the locomotive cab are recorded, and is committed to working with Transport Canada and the industry to remove any legislative barriers that would prevent the installation of these devices.

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