Aviation.ca - Your Number One Source for Canadian Aviation News, Jobs and Information!

Canadian News

Edmonton, Alberta, 24 February 2015 – In its investigation report (R13E0142) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that numerous rail fractures led to the October 2013 derailment and fire involving a Canadian National (CN) train in Gainford, Alberta.

On 19 October 2013, a CN freight train, travelling from Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia, derailed 13 cars, including 4 DOT 111 tank cars containing petroleum crude oil and 9 DOT 112 tank cars containing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the siding at Gainford, Alberta. Two LPG tank cars were breached during the derailment and caught fire, and a third LPG car released product from its safety valve which ignited. About 600 feet of track was destroyed and a house located directly north of the derailment site was damaged by the fire. A total of 106 homes in the vicinity of the occurrence were evacuated. There were no injuries.

The investigation determined that the train derailed when one or more rail breaks occurred in the high rail as the train travelled through the curve in the Gainford siding. Numerous defects were found along the length of the high rail in the curve. A rail flaw detection test through the area 2 months earlier had not identified these defects. In March 2013, the low rail had been replaced with a new rail that reduced the curve’s superelevation. In this situation, more stress was placed on the high rail, increasing the risk of rail defect development and failure.

One of the DOT 112 tank cars carrying LPG was punctured in the underside by the coupler from another car. This caused it to release its load and explode. DOT 112 tank cars have increased protection on each end to withstand impacts and are equipped with double shelf couplers designed to keep derailed tank cars together during derailments. However, tank cars that come apart during a derailment and jackknife across the track are vulnerable to impacts from following cars. None of the DOT 111 tank cars, which were built to the CPC-1232 standard, released petroleum crude oil, as the cars derailed in a line on their sides and did not suffer secondary impacts.

Following the occurrence, CN conducted walking inspections and rail flaw detection re-testing on all 25 mph sidings. Speed was reduced to 15 mph in these sidings until they were retested. Rail grinding within these sidings was also programmed to remove rail surface defects.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Written by
Read more...

The occurrence

On 14 February 2015, a Canadian National (CN) crude oil unit train was proceeding eastward on CN's Ruel Subdivision near Gogama, Ontario. The train crew was composed of a locomotive engineer and a conductor. The train was equipped with 2 head-end locomotives hauling 100 Class 111 tank cars, 68 loaded with Petroleum Crude Oil (UN 1267) and 32 loaded with Petroleum Distillates (UN 1268). The train was 6089 feet long and weighed 14 355 tons.

At about 23:50, while travelling at 38 mph, the train crew felt a heavy tug on the train and a train-initiated emergency brake application occurred near Mile 111.6. Subsequently, the crew observed a fire about 10 cars behind the locomotives, so they detached the locomotives from the train. The temperature at the time was -31°C and a slow order (speed restriction) of 40 mph was in place.

The train was designated as a “Key Train”Footnote 1 operating on a “Key Route”.Footnote 2 The accident occurred in a remote area, and the CN Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) was implemented. There were no injuries reported, and no evacuation was required. The product in several cars was allowed to burn. All fires were extinguished by 20 February 2015.

What we know

Site examination determined that the 7th to the 35th cars behind the locomotives (29 cars in total) had derailed. During the derailment, a number of cars were breached, released product, and ignited a large fire that initially involved 7 of the derailed cars. Additional product was subsequently released, and a total of 21 cars sustained fire damage ranging from minor to severe. About 900 feet of track was destroyed.

While firefighters dealt with the fire, investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) were able to examine the site and recover a section of broken rail containing a rail joint and a broken wheel, that are of interest. All recovered rail components and the broken wheel were sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa for further analysis.

Tank cars

The TSB conducted a preliminary damage assessment of all derailed tank cars. All of the Class 111 tank cars were constructed in the last 3 years, and were compliant with the industry’s CPC-1232 standard. In comparison with the other general service “legacy” Class 111 tank cars, these cars have some enhancements which include half-head shields, improved top and bottom fitting protection, and normalized steel.

The preliminary assessment revealed that 2 tank cars at the head-end of the derailment sustained minor damage and 2 tank cars at the tail-end of the derailment had no damage. The remaining 25 derailed tank cars sustained more significant damage. At least 19 of the 25 tank cars were breached or partially breached and released various amounts of product. It is estimated that a total of over 1 million litres of product was released, either to the atmosphere or to the ground. The amount of product released will be determined more precisely as site mitigation and clean-up continue.

The accident occurred at 38 mph. Initial impressions are that the Class 111 tank cars, which were compliant with the CPC-1232 standard, performed similarly to those involved in the Lac-Mégantic accident which occurred at 65 mph.

Transportation of flammable liquids by rail

The transportation of flammable liquids by rail has been identified as one of the key risks to the transportation system and it is included on the TSB’s 2014 Watchlist. The TSB has been pointing out the vulnerability of Class 111 tank cars for years, and the Board has called for tougher standards for all Class 111 tank cars, not just new ones, to reduce the likelihood of product release during accidents. In Lac-Mégantic, investigators found that even at lower speeds, the unprotected Class 111 tank cars ruptured, releasing crude oil which fuelled the fire. Consequently, until a more robust tank car standard with enhanced protection is implemented for North America, the risk will remain.

In response to the TSB’s recommendation, Transport Canada (TC) formalized the CPC-1232 standard in January 2014 as a requirement for all new tank cars built for the transportation of flammable liquids. The TSB has warned TC that this standard was not sufficient and that more needed to be done to provide an adequate level of protection. Preliminary assessment of the CPC-1232-compliant tank cars involved in this occurrence demonstrates the inadequacy of this standard given the tank cars’ similar performance to the legacy Class 111 tanks cars involved in the Lac-Mégantic accident.

“The TSB has been calling for tougher standards for Class 111 tank cars for several years,” said Jean L. Laporte, TSB’s Chief Operating Officer.“ Here is yet another example of tank cars being breached, and we once again urge Transport Canada to expedite the introduction of enhanced protection standards to reduce the risk of product loss when these cars are involved in accidents.”

Next steps

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:

  • Examination of rail components and suspect wheel recovered from the derailment site
  • Sampling and testing of product from select cars
  • Review of Wheel Impact Load Detector records for subject train and 2 previous trains
  • Review of all track infrastructure maintenance records for the area
  • Review of CN Engineering Track Standards and cold weather policy
  • Review of TC-approved Track Safety Rules
  • Review and evaluation of ERAP and emergency response
  • Conducting additional interviews as required.

Once all remaining product has been removed from the tank cars and they have been cleaned and purged, the TSB will complete a detailed damage assessment of the cars. The object of the assessment is to compare the performance of these tank cars against the known performance of the legacy Class 111 tank cars that were involved in the Lac-Mégantic accident. This may also include further failure analysis, testing and metallurgical examination at the TSB Engineering Laboratory.

Communication of safety deficiencies

Should the investigation team uncover safety deficiencies that present an immediate risk, the Board will communicate them without delay so they may be addressed quickly and the rail system made safer.

The information posted is factual in nature and does not contain any analysis. Analysis of the accident and the Findings of the Board will be part of the final report. The investigation is ongoing.


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
819-994-8053

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Written by
Read more...

The occurrence

On 14 February 2015, a Canadian National (CN) crude oil unit train was proceeding eastward on CN's Ruel Subdivision near Gogama, Ontario. The train crew was composed of a locomotive engineer and a conductor. The train was equipped with 2 head-end locomotives hauling 100 Class 111 tank cars, 68 loaded with Petroleum Crude Oil (UN 1267) and 32 loaded with Petroleum Distillates (UN 1268). The train was 6089 feet long and weighed 14 355 tons.

At about 23:50, while travelling at 38 mph, the train crew felt a heavy tug on the train and a train-initiated emergency brake application occurred near Mile 111.6. Subsequently, the crew observed a fire about 10 cars behind the locomotives, so they detached the locomotives from the train. The temperature at the time was -31°C and a slow order (speed restriction) of 40 mph was in place.

The train was designated as a “Key Train”Footnote 1 operating on a “Key Route”.Footnote 2 The accident occurred in a remote area, and the CN Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) was implemented. There were no injuries reported, and no evacuation was required. The product in several cars was allowed to burn. All fires were extinguished by 20 February 2015.

What we know

Site examination determined that the 7th to the 35th cars behind the locomotives (29 cars in total) had derailed. During the derailment, a number of cars were breached, released product, and ignited a large fire that initially involved 7 of the derailed cars. Additional product was subsequently released, and a total of 21 cars sustained fire damage ranging from minor to severe. About 900 feet of track was destroyed.

While firefighters dealt with the fire, investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) were able to examine the site and recover a section of broken rail containing a rail joint and a broken wheel, that are of interest. All recovered rail components and the broken wheel were sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa for further analysis.

Tank cars

The TSB conducted a preliminary damage assessment of all derailed tank cars. All of the Class 111 tank cars were constructed in the last 3 years, and were compliant with the industry’s CPC-1232 standard. In comparison with the other general service “legacy” Class 111 tank cars, these cars have some enhancements which include half-head shields, improved top and bottom fitting protection, and normalized steel.

The preliminary assessment revealed that 2 tank cars at the head-end of the derailment sustained minor damage and 2 tank cars at the tail-end of the derailment had no damage. The remaining 25 derailed tank cars sustained more significant damage. At least 19 of the 25 tank cars were breached or partially breached and released various amounts of product. It is estimated that a total of over 1 million litres of product was released, either to the atmosphere or to the ground. The amount of product released will be determined more precisely as site mitigation and clean-up continue.

The accident occurred at 38 mph. Initial impressions are that the Class 111 tank cars, which were compliant with the CPC-1232 standard, performed similarly to those involved in the Lac-Mégantic accident which occurred at 65 mph.

Transportation of flammable liquids by rail

The transportation of flammable liquids by rail has been identified as one of the key risks to the transportation system and it is included on the TSB’s 2014 Watchlist. The TSB has been pointing out the vulnerability of Class 111 tank cars for years, and the Board has called for tougher standards for all Class 111 tank cars, not just new ones, to reduce the likelihood of product release during accidents. In Lac-Mégantic, investigators found that even at lower speeds, the unprotected Class 111 tank cars ruptured, releasing crude oil which fuelled the fire. Consequently, until a more robust tank car standard with enhanced protection is implemented for North America, the risk will remain.

In response to the TSB’s recommendation, Transport Canada (TC) formalized the CPC-1232 standard in January 2014 as a requirement for all new tank cars built for the transportation of flammable liquids. The TSB has warned TC that this standard was not sufficient and that more needed to be done to provide an adequate level of protection. Preliminary assessment of the CPC-1232-compliant tank cars involved in this occurrence demonstrates the inadequacy of this standard given the tank cars’ similar performance to the legacy Class 111 tanks cars involved in the Lac-Mégantic accident.

“The TSB has been calling for tougher standards for Class 111 tank cars for several years,” said Jean L. Laporte, TSB’s Chief Operating Officer.“ Here is yet another example of tank cars being breached, and we once again urge Transport Canada to expedite the introduction of enhanced protection standards to reduce the risk of product loss when these cars are involved in accidents.”

Next steps

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:

  • Examination of rail components and suspect wheel recovered from the derailment site
  • Sampling and testing of product from select cars
  • Review of Wheel Impact Load Detector records for subject train and 2 previous trains
  • Review of all track infrastructure maintenance records for the area
  • Review of CN Engineering Track Standards and cold weather policy
  • Review of TC-approved Track Safety Rules
  • Review and evaluation of ERAP and emergency response
  • Conducting additional interviews as required.

Once all remaining product has been removed from the tank cars and they have been cleaned and purged, the TSB will complete a detailed damage assessment of the cars. The object of the assessment is to compare the performance of these tank cars against the known performance of the legacy Class 111 tank cars that were involved in the Lac-Mégantic accident. This may also include further failure analysis, testing and metallurgical examination at the TSB Engineering Laboratory.

Communication of safety deficiencies

Should the investigation team uncover safety deficiencies that present an immediate risk, the Board will communicate them without delay so they may be addressed quickly and the rail system made safer.

The information posted is factual in nature and does not contain any analysis. Analysis of the accident and the Findings of the Board will be part of the final report. The investigation is ongoing.


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
819-994-8053

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Written by
Read more...
MONTREAL, Feb. 17, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada has been named the leading airline in customer loyalty, according to Brand Keys 2015 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index® (CLEI). The 19th annual survey,
Published in AIR CANADA
Written by
Read more...
MONTREAL, Feb. 17, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada said today that it has been advised by UNITE, the union representing the airline's U.K.-based employees, that its members have ratified a
Published in AIR CANADA
Written by
Read more...

Richmond Hill, Ontario – 12 February 2015 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A13O0098) into a May 2013 hard landing and tail strike involving a Porter Airlines Inc. aircraft at the Sault Ste. Marie International Airport. There were no injuries; however, there was substantial damage to the aircraft.

On 26 May 2013, a Porter Airlines Inc. Bombardier DHC-8-402 flew from the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to the Sault Ste. Marie Airport. At 2216 Eastern Daylight Time, during touchdown, the tail struck the runway. After landing, the aircraft taxied to the gate where the passengers were deplaned.

During the final approach to landing, the airspeed began to decrease and the descent rate began to increase. This profile put the aircraft in an unstabilized approach requiring a go-around, but the crew continued with the landing. As the aircraft rapidly approached the runway, instead of increasing engine power to reduce the rate of descent, the pilot pitched the nose up beyond the limits stated in the standard operating procedures and manufacturer's pitch awareness training. The investigation found that the high rate of descent coupled with the high nose-up attitude of the aircraft resulted in the hard landing compressing the struts and allowing the tail to contact the runway.

The investigation also drew attention to the need to clearly define the requirements for a stabilized visual approach, and to clearly define the duties of the pilot monitoring in order to mitigate the risk that unsafe flight conditions could develop.

Immediately following this occurrence, Porter Airlines Inc. initiated an internal investigation as part of its Safety Management System. Part of the immediate corrective action involved a revision of the Pitch Awareness Training highlighting previous occurrences and the need to arrest high descent rates with power and not pitch. The company also conducted a review of training for captains and pilots, reviewed use of flap settings on approach, provided further clarification on the stabilized approach procedure, and re-emphasized hazards associated with night-time operations.

Approach-and-landing accidents are a TSB Watchlist issue. The Board is calling on Transport Canada and operators to do more to reduce the number of unstable approaches that are continued to a landing.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Written by
Read more...
Highest Annual Adjusted Net Income in Air Canada's 77-year History Adjusted net income of $531 million or $1.81 per diluted share in 2014 versus adjusted net income of $340 million
Published in AIR CANADA
Written by
Read more...

Gatineau, Quebec, 03 February 2015 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada today released its investigation report (A13Q0186) into the belt loader fire involving a Boeing 767 operated by Royal Air Maroc at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (Québec) in November 2013. The fire led to smoke in the cabin and the evacuation of passengers.

On 04 November 2013, the Royal Air Maroc Boeing 767 carrying 243 passengers and 8 crew members parked at gate 61 after landing at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (Quebec). During deplaning at 1645, a fire broke out under a belt loader that was positioned under the left rear cargo door. The smell of smoke created by the fire penetrated the cabin, prompting the captain to order the evacuation of the aircraft. Some passengers evacuated the aircraft through the jetway while others used the evacuation slides. Seven passengers suffered minor injuries. The airport firefighting service arrived on site at 1649 and brought the fire under control. The aircraft sustained no damage.

The investigation found that a connector in the fuel system on the belt loader disconnected while the engine was running. Consequently, fuel sprayed onto the hot surface of the exhaust and caused a fire.

In the weeks following the occurrence, all of the service provider's (Servisair Inc.) belt loaders at airports across Canada had their fuel systems inspected for connectors, and they installed an emergency switch on belt loaders that did not already have one. They also shared their observations with other service providers concerning the risks associated with the vulnerability of the fuel system for this engine model on ground handling equipment. Aéroports de Montréal has incorporated service providers such as ground handlers into their safety management system, and its firefighting service now offers training to employees working on the apron.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Written by
Read more...
MONTREAL, Feb. 5, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today it will launch this summer new, year-round Air Canada rouge services between Hamilton and Calgary and seasonal service between Toronto
Published in AIR CANADA
Written by
Read more...
MONTREAL, Feb. 5, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today announced that it has reached a tentative collective agreement with UNITE for the airline's U.K.-based workforce. The agreement is subject to
Published in AIR CANADA
Written by
Read more...
         
Aviation.ca is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. Copyright © 1997-2015 Skytech Dynamics Corporation, All rights reserved exogenous-blank
exogenous-blank
exogenous-blank
exogenous-blank

Login or Register