Flaw along rail found but not fixed before 38 cars derailed in B.C.: Safety board

Lyle Ellerbee

A report introduced Monday says the issue on the CN major track was determined as needing a “close to-urgent” fix in May 2021.

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A 38-vehicle teach derailment in northern B.C. was the result of a observe flaw determined all through a plan look at that wasn’t fastened despite followup inspections, states the Transportation Security Board.

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A CN train still left the tracks on its way to Chetwynd from Prince George on June 3, 2021. Dozens of cars and trucks derailed but they all remained upright and no unsafe goods spilled. Neither of the two crew on-board was hurt, and both of those ended up fully skilled and had experienced right relaxation.

A protection board report launched this week reported spikes holding the rails in place lifted along a curve, triggering 38 of the 78 cars — 27 of them empty — to go away the keep track of although the educate was travelling 47 km/h.

The derailment happened on a curve between Chetwynd and Prince George.
The derailment occurred on a curve in between Chetwynd and Prince George. Image by Google Earth/TSB

In accordance with transportation regulations, the keep track of was inspected on Might 25, 2021, making use of a “heavy keep track of geometry exam car.” It found about 10 metres of “near-urgent outward rail cant” — an extreme angling of the rails together a curve.

“Near-urgent flaws should be inspected within just 72 hrs and repaired inside of 30 days,” explained the security board report. However, a followup inspection on May well 26 didn’t detect any “track geometry defects” and no repairs were built on the rail part.

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“It is probably that indicators of gauge widening (s
uch as sliding tie plates, bent spikes or plate-reducing) were present, but not observed” on Might 26, stated the report. “There ended up no repairs built or supplemental functioning constraints put in place to handle this defect in advance of the derailment.”

Inspections in the curve failed to identify raised spikes that lifted away on June 3, 2021, causing the cars to derail.
Inspections in the curve failed to detect raised spikes that lifted absent on June 3, 2021, resulting in the cars and trucks to derail. Image by Canadian National Railway Enterprise/TSB

The last common inspection of the rail area about 30 kilometres south of Prince George was a working day before the derailment, but once more no problems were being recognized.

When the CN practice arrived through the curve, spikes alongside the larger rail lifted absent from and out of their tie plates, and the rail lifted outward creating 38 of the autos to derail.

The security board concluded additional cautious inspections in curves are necessary to reduce long term derailments.

“When conducting keep track of inspections in curves, it is vital to spend distinct focus to both of those rails for indications of instability, so that repairs or running constraints can be set in location,” it claimed.

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