Posts Tagged ‘Sarnia Ontario’

Canadian Safety Board Issues Recommendations Following CN River Tunnel Derailment

November 18, 2020

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has issued four safety advisory letters in connection with its investigation of a June 28, 2019, derailment of a Canadian National train in the St. Clair River tunnel connecting Sarnia, Ontario, and Port Huron, Michigan.

The derailment resulted in 46 cars of the 140 cars in the train leaving the tracks.

The TSB said first car to derail appeared to be the 53rd car, a bathtub gondola, in which the A-end appears to have collapsed.

An analysis by the TSB and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board determined the initial point of derailment occurred in Canada.

Also derailing was a tank car loaded with sulphuric acid that saw most of its load of 12,000 gallons spilled in the tunnel.

TSB has asked Transport Canada to ensure that railroads have instructions in their emergency procedures on how to inspect a train carrying hazardous materials after a derailment in a tunnel. It noted that after the June 28 derailment, the the conductor left the locomotive to inspect the train following in accordance with CN rules.

However, he could not be reached by radio by other crew members to warn him that the tunnel’s toxic gas alarm had activated. The conductor was not injured.

TSB also asked Transport Canada and the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration of potentially defective bathtub gondolas and requested that those cars— particularly those used in scrap metal service —be inspected and repaired as needed.

This particularly pertains to bathtub gondolas built by Berwick Forge. There are an estimated 2,500 such cars in operation in North America.

Finally, the TSB said Transport Canada should ensure that all railroads have adequate practices in place to effectively manage train operating personnel.

CN Derailment Blocks St. Clair Tunnel

June 28, 2019

Canadian National is diverting traffic that normally uses the St. Clair Tunnel in Michigan through Detroit after an early Friday morning derailment inside the tunnel linking the U.S. and Canada.

No injuries were reported in the derailment, which occurred around 6 a.m. and saw 40 cars of the westbound train jump the tracks in the middle of the tunnel.

CN officials said it could take days to repair the tunnel and its tracks.

The cleanup of the derailment is being undertaken by U.S. and Canadian workers because it occurred on the border between the two countries.

The tunnel connects Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, beneath the St. Clair River.