Digest: Failure to secure cars, ice led to CN yard death, TSB of Canada says

News Wire Digest for Jan. 27: Transit district awards contract for right-of-way fence in Oceanside, Calif.; Saskatoon looks for way to force railroad to move from downtown
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Wednesday morning rail news:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada issues report on 2018 CN yard death

Failure to fully secure two unattended cars and ice contamination of those cars’ brakes led to a fatal accident in 2018 at Canadian National’s yard in Edmundston, New Brunswick, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada says in a report issued Tuesday. The TSB says a two-car cut began an uncontrolled roll and struck a locomotive traveling in the opposite direction, killing a conductor trainee who was standing on the footboard of that locomotive. The CBC reports Pierre-Luc Levesque, 33, died in the Dec. 4, 2018, accident. The TSB report indicates that the cars were left unattended with only their air brakes set because the crew considered them “attended” under Canadian Rail Operating Rules; had they been considered “unattended,” hand brakes would have been applied. It also said ice that had built up on the cars during earlier, compromising the effectiveness of the brakes. The accident led to a TSB safety advisory on securing attended cars; Transport Canada’s investigation found the cars should have been considered unattended and issued a letter of non-compliance to CN. The full report is available here.

North County Transit District awards contract for fencing in Oceanside, Calif.
The North County Transit District has awarded a contract for more than $400,000 for construction of safety fencing along its right-of-way in Oceanside, Calif. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the $407,841 contract to Exbon Development Inc. of Garden Grove, Calif, is for installation of a 6-foot, vinyl-coated, chain-link. It is one of three locations where the district seeks to add fencing; the Oceanside plan has been approved by the city, unlike a similar proposal in Del Mar, Calif., where residents oppose the fencing, saying it will spoil views and limit their beach access [see “Digest: Eau Claire, Wis., votes for commission ..,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 13, 2021]. The Del Mar fence is part of an issue that led the transit district to request a ruling from the Surface Transportation Board on maintenance along the Del Mar Bluffs, although the matter is currently on hold while the parties involved try to reach an agreement [see “Digest: STB delays action …,” News Wire, Nov. 30, 2020].

Saskatoon investigates possibility of forcing railroads to share line through city
Rebuffed in its initial effort to convince Canadian National and Canadian Pacific to share a route away from downtown, city officials in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, are exploring the possibility of forcing CP to move its route that bisects the city. Global News reports city councilor Darren Hill instructed administrators to examine the 1987 National Transportation Act, which the city’s transportation director called “an act where you can basically force a movement of rail.” The topic arose during a discussion of three grade-crossing separation projects the city is considering [see “Digest: MBTA details increase in COVID-19 cases …,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 12, 2021]. Both CN and CP have said the idea of a shared main line in Saskatoon is unworkable [see “Digest: CP, CN shoot down Saskatoon’s concept …,” News Wire, Sept. 4, 2020].


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