Railway Investigation R15T0245

Exceeded limits of authority

The occurrence

On 25 October 2015, a Via Rail passenger train entered limits between Mile 304 and 305 at Whitby on the South track without the proper permission. The instructions to the train were authorization to proceed past the red flag (working limits) at mile 304 on the North track only. The crew recognized work equipment ahead on the track and brought the train to a controlled stop, approximately a quarter of a mile past the entrance to the working limits. There were no injuries.

Map of the area

Whitby, Ontario


Photo of Investigator-in-charge Darlene Roosenboom

Ms. Darlene Roosenboom has been with the Railway/Pipeline Investigations Branch of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) since 2004. Currently Specialist/Senior Investigator, Operations, she has provided oversight on a number of other investigations, and is also a trusted agent of TSB's confidential reporting system, Securitas. Before joining the TSB, Ms. Roosenboom worked for Canadian National Railway Company (CN) for 15 years, predominantly as rail traffic controller; she also held management positions in the work program office, and was a crew coordinator. Ms. Roosenboom obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from York University in 1992, majoring in Sociology.

Transportation Safety Board 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.

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