Rail transportation safety investigation R15H0013

Update: The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 16 February 2017.

Table of contents

Main-track train derailment

Canadian National Railway
Freight train U70451-10
Mile 111.7, Ruel Subdivision
Gladwick, Ontario

View final report

The occurrence

On , at about 2335 Eastern Standard Time, Canadian National Railway Company (CN) crude oil unit train U70451-10 was proceeding eastward at about 38 mph on CN's Ruel Subdivision when it experienced a train-initiated emergency brake application at Mile 111.7, at Gladwick, near Gogama, Ontario. A subsequent inspection determined that the 7th through 35th cars (29 cars in total) had derailed. Nineteen of the tank cars were breached, and about 1.7 million litres of petroleum crude oil were released to either atmosphere or surface. The released product ignited, and the fires burned for 5 days. About 900 feet of mainline track was destroyed. There was no evacuation, and there were no injuries.

Safety communications

Recommendations

2017-02-16

TSB Recommendation R17-01: The Department of Transport conduct a study on the factors that increase the severity of the outcomes for derailments involving dangerous goods, identify appropriate mitigating strategies including train speeds for various train risk profiles and amend the Rules Respecting Key Trains and Key Routes accordingly.

Safety advisories

2015-03-17

Rail Safety Advisory Letter 04/15: Condition of track infrastructure on CN Ruel subdivision

Media materials

News releases

2017-02-16

TSB calls for strategies to reduce severity of dangerous goods derailments following investigation into February 2015 accident near Gogama, Ontario
Read the news release

2015-02-23

Update on derailment and fire of Canadian National crude oil train near Gogama, Ontario
Read the news release

Backgrounders

Speeches

2017-02-16

News conference for Gladwick (R15H0013): Opening remarks
Kathy Fox, Chair, Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Rob Johnston, Manager, Central regional operations, Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Deployment notice

2015-02-15

Transportation Safety Board of Canada deploys team to crude oil train derailment and fire 80 km south of Timmins, Ontario

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to a derailment and fire involving a crude oil train operated by CN approximately 80 km south of Timmins, Ontario. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Robert Bruder

Robert Bruder joined the Transportation Safety Board in September of 2013 as Regional Senior Investigator Rail/Pipeline at the TSB’s Toronto office. Mr. Bruder has an extensive background in railway operations and risk management garnered over a 36-year career with CN Rail. He managed CN’s Risk Management Department for Eastern Canada from 2004 to 2013, and was extensively involved in development and implementation of CN’s safety management system, accident/injury investigation, analysis and cause-finding processes, as well as derailment emergency response and mitigation.


Photos


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 2 investigation. These investigations are particularly complex and involve several safety issues requiring in-depth analysis. Class 2 investigations, which frequently result in recommendations, are generally completed within 600 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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