Language selection

Rail transportation safety investigation R14T0180

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 11 February 2016.

Table of contents

Main-track train derailment and collision

Canadian National freight train M36831-01 and
VIA Rail Canada Inc. passenger train No. 47
Mile 153.92, Kingston Subdivision
Gananoque, Ontario

View final report

The occurrence

On , at about 1412 Eastern Daylight Time, Canadian National (CN) freight train M36831-01 (CN 368) was proceeding eastward on the north main track of the CN Kingston Subdivision when it experienced a train-initiated emergency brake application and derailed at Mile 153.92. The CN crew immediately made an emergency radio broadcast as the train slowed. At about the same time, VIA Rail Canada Inc. (VIA) passenger train No. 47 (VIA 47) was proceeding westward on the south main track when its crew observed that CN 368 was derailed. Upon hearing the emergency radio broadcast, the VIA crew initiated an emergency brake application. As the 2 trains were slowing to a stop, a derailed centre beam bulkhead flat car struck VIA 47’s lead locomotive and then scraped along the north side of the 5 VIA coaches. The tail-end 6 cars on CN 368 derailed and were damaged. As a result, the front of the VIA locomotive and the north side of the VIA coaches sustained impact damage. The fuel tank on the VIA locomotive was punctured and released about 1000 litres of diesel fuel. There were no injuries.

Media materials

News releases


Worn rail car components contributed to August 2014 derailment and collision near Gananoque, Ontario
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to the site of a collision involving a VIA Rail passenger train and derailed cars from a CN freight train near Gananoque, Ontario

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of a collision involving a VIA Rail passenger train and derailed cars from a CN freight train near Gananoque, Ontario. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Robert Johnston

Mr. Johnston has been with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) since 2001. He was Senior Regional Investigator in Winnipeg until 2004, when he assumed the position of Senior Investigator, Standards and Training Officer at TSB Head Office in Gatineau, Quebec. He became Manager of Central Regional Operations in November 2009, and served as Acting Director of Investigations - Rail/Pipeline for 9 months in 2010– 2011. He now manages a staff of 6 rail/pipeline investigators in Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa, and is responsible for all activities related to rail investigations in TSB’s Central Region, which extends from Cornwall, Ontario, to near the Alberta–Saskatchewan border. During his time at the TSB, Mr. Johnston has been Investigator-in-Charge of 20 rail accident investigations, and has provided technical expertise on a number of other investigations. Before joining the TSB, Mr. Johnston worked for Canadian Pacific Railway in Winnipeg from 1984 until 2001, where, as a member of the Train Accident Prevention group, he acquired an extensive background in mechanical operations, failure analysis, and dangerous goods.


  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.