2004 TSB Recommendations & TC Responses

R01M0061 - Crossing Accident and Derailment Canadian National Train No M-306-31-05 Mile 178.67, Napadogan Subdivision - Drummond, New Brunswick - 06 October 2001 (R04-01)

TSB Full Text Report (R01M0061):

TSB Recommendation R04-01

Safe Train Operation During Emergency Braking - (Action Required, as presented in the TSB Report)

The Board recommends that:

Transport Canada encourage the railway companies to implement technologies and/or methods of train control to assure that in-train forces generated during emergency braking are consistent with safe train operation. (R04-01)

Transport Canada's Response (R04-01)

(signed by the Minister on 08/10/2004):

Transport Canada (TC) accepts the Board's recommendation. TC has informed its stakeholders of the recommendation including railway companies, the Railway Association of Canada, railway labour organizations and the Provinces.

Canadian National (CN) has been testing a new technology end-of-train system (E-O-T) that provides both emergency and service brake applications. CN has adopted the technology and converted 165 locomotives and 198 E-O-T units to their new design. Further, as an enhancement to safety, CN is looking at purchasing the new air turbine generator E-O-T units (ATX) later in 2004. Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has also been adopting the new technology and converted 93.7% of its locomotives. All new locomotives that are being purchased are equipped with the new technology.

TC will continue to encourage the railway companies to implement the new technologies that are being developed and tested, and which contribute to safer train operations.

R02W0063 - Crossing Accident and Derailment - Canadian National - Freight Train No. E20251-30 Mile 88.83, Rivers Subdivision Near Firdale, Manitoba - 02 May 2002 (R04-02) (R04-03)

TSB Full Text Report (R02W0063):

TSB Recommendation R04-02

Driver Training Material - (Action Required, as presented in the TSB Report)

The Board recommends that:

The Department of Transport, in consultation with the provinces and the trucking industry, review and update, as necessary, educational and training material for drivers with respect to the risks associated with a heavy vehicle negotiating a public passive railway crossing. (R04-02)

Transport Canada's Response (R04-02)

(signed by the Minister on 01/03/2005):

Transport Canada (TC) agrees with the Board that through awareness and education, risks associated with heavy vehicles negotiating public passive railway crossings may be mitigated.

Further to the TSB's recommendation, TC officials attended a meeting of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators Standing Committee on Drivers and Vehicles on November 4, 2004 and raised the need to review and update, as necessary, education and training material for truck drivers with respect to the risks associated with a heavy vehicle negotiating a public passive railway crossing. The Committee agreed to consider this recommendation.

As part of Direction 2006, over 50 different promotional tools have been developed in close association with provincial safety councils and the trucking industry. These materials include professional driver-focused material for truckers, school bus drivers and emergency responders, and also materials targeting those using farm crossings.

Direction 2006 is making good progress.To this point, since 1996, grade crossing collisions and trespassing incidents have been reduced by 70% and 98% of the target respectively, in spite of dramatic increases in road use and urban development around railway lines.

TSB Recommendation R04-03

Emergency Responder Training - (Action Required, as presented in the TSB Report)

The Board recommends that:

The Department of Transport, in consultation with other federal, provincial, and municipal agencies, implement consistent training requirements that ensure emergency first responders remain competent to respond to rail accidents involving dangerous goods. (R04-03)

Transport Canada's Response (R04-03)

(signed by the Minister on 01/03/2005):

TC shares the TSB's concern for the safety of emergency responders when they are responding to train derailments involving dangerous goods. However, as TSB recognized in its final report, and as stated in comments made to a previous TSB report (R01M0061 – Drummond, NB), the responsibility for training provincial and municipal emergency responders (fire and police personnel) falls under provincial/municipal jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, on December 3, 2004, TC sent a letter enclosing a copy of the TSB's final report to the appropriate provincial/territorial representatives (copy attached). Recommendation R04-03 was highlighted and the representatives were requested to review the report and to give serious consideration as how best to address this recommendation. TC has already started receiving positive feedback to the letter.

It is important to note that TC does make every effort to provide a range of tools for these provincial/municipal emergency responders to use in preparing for, and responding to, incidents involving dangerous goods.

For example, TC operates the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre (CANUTEC), which provides emergency response information and assistance to local emergency response authorities in the event of an accident involving dangerous goods. Professional chemists staff CANUTEC 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

TC (CANUTEC), in cooperation with the United States and Mexico, has developed an Emergency Response Guide that is provided free of charge to all fire and police departments. This guide provides instructions and guidelines to initial provincial/municipal emergency responders during the first stages of responding to an accident that involves dangerous goods. Approximately two million copies of the 2004 version of the Guide are now being distributed. A copy of the Guide is attached for your reference.

TC's dangerous goods inspectors and Remedial Measures Specialists are trained in emergency response. These individuals will attend accident sites to offer technical advice and guidance to local public authorities, advise on remedial measures and on industry response capabilities, assist in identifying emergency response contractors, and advise on the use of these contractors. Inspectors will also conduct on site situation assessment to determine the nature of the accident, confirm the dangerous goods and means of containment involved and the damage to the means of containment.

To assist provincial and municipal emergency responders, TC regularly publishes and updates a variety of different information material including pamphlets on Safety Marks, Shipping Documents, Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAPs), the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Newsletter and the Emergency Response Guidebook. TC is currently preparing a new brochure for police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders who are the first to arrive on the scene of an incident involving dangerous goods. The Department also produced, for emergency responders, an award winning video on the response and prevention of BLEVEs (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosions). This video was distributed to every fire department in Canada.

In addition to these TC initiatives to assist first responders, it is important to note that, prior to transportation, ERAPs must be submitted to, and approved by TC for certain very harmful dangerous goods that necessitate special expertise and response equipment. The plans are intended to assist local emergency responders by providing them with technical experts and specialized equipment at an accident site. TC's Remedial Measures Specialists evaluate, verify and approve the plans.

Date modified: