Rail transportation safety investigation R16D0092

Update: The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 11 December 2017.

Table of contents

Crossing collision

VIA Rail Canada Inc.
Passenger train No. 600
Mile 75.34, Canadian National Railway Company
Joliette Subdivision
Sainte-Ursule, Quebec

View final report

The occurrence

On 20 September 2016, at approximately 1605 Eastern Daylight Time, VIA Rail Canada Inc. passenger train No. 600 was travelling southward at 60 mph on the Canadian National Railway Company Joliette Subdivision. The train was struck by a tractor-trailer at the Highway 348 public crossing at Mile 75.34 in Sainte-Ursule, Quebec. The first coach derailed, and the rail cars as well as the locomotives were damaged. Approximately 1860 gallons of fuel was spilled. The track and the crossing warning system were also damaged, and the tractor-trailer was destroyed. The driver sustained serious injuries, and 2 passengers on the train sustained minor injuries.

Safety communications

Safety advisories

2017-12-11

Rail Safety Advisory Letter 10/17: Assessment of the safety impact of road accidents in the vicinity of railway crossings

Media materials

News releases

2017-12-11

Obstructed view of crossing warning system among factors that led to 2016 crossing collision in Sainte-Ursule, Quebec
Read the news release

Deployment notice

2016-09-20

TSB has deployed a team of investigators to a railway crossing collision in Sainte-Ursule, Quebec

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators following a collision between a tractor-trailer and a VIA Rail Canada passenger train in Sainte-Ursule, Quebec. The TSB is gathering information and assessing the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Ian Perkins

Ian Perkins began his railway career as a conductor at Canadian Pacific (CP). In 2009, he completed the locomotive engineer training program and in 2011 began working as a rules instructor. As a rules instructor, he trained and recertified both conductors and locomotive engineers. After working for nearly 10 years at CP, he joined the TSB as a senior regional investigator for Rail and Pipeline in the Quebec Region. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Concordia University and a certificate in Transportation Logistics from McGill University.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 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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