Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) concludes that a missed signal led to a collision between two Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) trains, which injured a conductor.
The incident occurred at 5:16 am on August 21, 2016, according to the report, published on August 1, 2017. An East bound CP freight train assisting motives 24 the cars travelling through the North Toronto subdivision crossing over from the north tracks in the south track, when a westbound train with two locomotives moving along the north track at the tail end of the eastbound train at the cross. The collision injured the westbound train conductor and car damage on the eastbound train, as well as cause several small fires and a spill of 2500 L of diesel fuel from the fuel tank at the westbound train’s lead locomotive.
The TSB investigation found that the westbound train and pass the signal that required the crew to stop before the next signal, but it failed to slow down. Because the westbound crew was distracted by train operation, reviewing a timetable looking for a reported trespasser, train cannot stop in time before the crossover.
“Although both crews carried a sleep debt in the westbound train was being operated during period of low circadian rhythm, it could not be determined whether fatigue and affected the crew members’ performance,” the report states.
You would fathom a guess why there are no backup or multiple steps of redundancy that would have stopped this accident. This sounds very much like Air Traffic controllers and the difficult job they have.
By the way, I just read a report that we had no deaths in 2017 on commercial flights anywhere in the world. I was so glad to hear that!
No, TSB should consider coming up with a good plan that will take the guesswork out of the safety aspect of trains and their signals. I wonder if an automated system may work, with the human side being a possible backup?
Think about it!
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.