Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Seized axle, crew fatigue key elements of November 2014 CN derailment east of Prince Rupert

The findings have been released by
the TSB regarding a November 2014
train derailment near Kwinitsa
The Canadian Transportation Board has released its report on a November 2014 train derailment in the Northwest, providing background into the incident which left a westbound locomotive and eight intermodal flat cars derailed in the morning hours near Kwinitsa siding.

The two key elements from their findings make note of the occurrence of a seized axle on one of the engines and observations related to crew fatigue.

As the report explains, the westbound train consisting of 2 locomotives and 153 loaded intermodal flat cars had just returned to the mainline from the siding near the Kwinitsa, shortly after entering the mainline and as it began to increase speed on its journey an axle on one of the engines overheated and locked resulting in the derailment.

Five areas of interest were observed after an inspection by the crew at the time of the derailment:

Some of the findings from the TSB Report into a November derailment
on the CN line between Prince Rupert and Terrace

As well, the TSB report notes that a damaged wheel set had dislodged sensors on the inspection system, leaving only 9 of the 424 axles of the train to be inspected by the electronic system, an irregular reading that the train crew did not notice.

Fatigue is listed in the report as an issue at the time of the occurrence, with TSB investigators noting that the crew of the train had erratic sleep patterns owing to work shifts with variable start and end times.

As part of its findings, the TSB notes that the railway provided a corrective action related to the failure of the inspection system alongside the tracks.

Following the occurrence Canadian National Railway reformatted the detection mechanism sites along the railway system tracks to include axle counts as part of their post-scan announcement process while underway.

Location of the November 2014 train derailment near Kwinitsa

At the time of the incident 34 containers were loaded on the 17 derailed platforms, the cargo consisting of a mix of lumber and peas, as a result of the derailment a volume of soybean product entered the adjacent Swamp Creek waterway.

No dangerous goods were involved as part of the incident.

The damaged cars were removed from the creek, while the recovered product as part of the clean up process was transported to landfill sites in Terrace and Prince Rupert.

A more detailed look at the location of the train derailment which
saw eight cars and an engine derailed near Kwinitsa

A synopsis of the incident was provided as part of a news release from the TSB yesterday.

The full report, which includes a range of charts, photos and other data is available from the TSB website here, while a look at the process involved with the TSB investigation is available here.

More items related to CN Rail operations in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

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