Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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In its investigation report, 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 October 19, 2013, a CN freight train, travelling from Edmonton, Alberta, to Vancouver, British Columbia, derailed 13 cars, including four DOT 111 tank cars containing petroleum crude oil and nine 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.

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. TSB said numerous defects were found along the length of the high rail in the curve. A rail-flaw detection test through the area two 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. TSB noted that 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. 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.

 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 13:45

CN, Unifor reach tentative labor agreement

Canadian National and Unifor have negotiated a tentative labor agreement with the Unifor union. As a result, CN has withdrawn its lockout notice to Unifor, which would have come effective at 11p.m. local time tonight in the absence of a settlement.

The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will hold a public meeting to review results of the recent study of reactivating the Murphy Branch rail line between Andrews and Murphy (A2M- Rail Reactivation Study).

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has finalized the design for the new station in Hicksville, a $120-million investment meant to revitalize the region's busiest transit hub and kick-start residential and commercial development in the hamlet's downtown.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 13:36

Renderings of M-1 Tech Center released

M-1 Rail in Detroit, Mich., has released conceptual renderings of the nearly 19,000-square-foot Penske Tech Center facility, where the streetcar's technology systems, vehicles and operations team will be based.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has proposed a rule to increase oversight responsibilities of State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOAs) by replacing the existing outdated regulatory framework with one designed to better evaluate the effectiveness of a rail transit agency's system safety program.

Lisa Raitt, Canada's minister of Transport, introduced legislation in the House of Commons that Transport Canada says is expected to enhance railway safety and make the rail industry and crude oil shippers more accountable.

Crews in East Kapolei, Hawaii, have completed the first two miles of elevated guideway for the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit (HART) project.

Friday, 20 February 2015 13:03

KCS names Ottensmeyer president

Kansas City Southern, as part of its succession planning process, appointed Patrick Ottensmeyer president, effective March 1, 2015.

BNSF 's 2015 capital program for its operations in Wisconsin will be an estimated $120 million for rail maintenance and capacity improvement projects.

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