TSB Laboratory Report LP132/2013

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Description of occurrence


On 6 July 2013, at approximately 0115 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) a freight train operated by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), designation MMA-02, derailed in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Tank cars loaded with crude oil caught fire destroying many buildings and causing 47 fatalities.

1.2 Engineering services requested


Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) rail investigators responded to the occurrence. They recovered an end-of-train sense and brake unit (SBU, also referred to as an end-of-train telemetry system), which was delivered to the TSB Engineering Laboratory along with a request to extract all relevant data from its non-volatile memory (NVM).

1.3 Parts received

Table 1: Parts Received
Item Manufacturer Part Number Serial Number
SBU Wabtec Railway Electronics 23743 0434004

2.0 Examination and data extraction


An external examination of the Wabtec Railway Electronics SBU (Figure 1) revealed only damage that was consistent with normal operation in the rail environment. An internal examination did not reveal any damage to the electrical and electronic components housed in the SBU.