News release

A combination of factors contributed to derailment at Nickel Lake, Ontario in November 2013

Gatineau, Quebec, 3 March 2015 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (R13W0257) into the derailment of a Canadian National Railway (CN) freight train at Nickel Lake, Ontario.

On 10 November 2013, at approximately 1727 Central Standard Time, a CN freight train travelling eastward on the Fort Frances Subdivision derailed 40 loaded grain cars near Nickel Lake, Ontario. There were two separate groups of derailed cars, 12 cars in one group and 28 cars in the other. Several of the derailed cars ruptured and spilled grain. There were no injuries.

The investigation determined that the derailment likely occurred due to a combination of track and rail conditions and the operation of long, heavy-loaded unit trains. Each of these factors on its own would probably not have resulted in the derailment. However, when combined, these factors were likely sufficient to create the necessary derailment conditions.


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