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Rail transportation safety investigation R20W0102

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 21 March 2023

Table of contents

Main-track train derailment

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Freight train 320-227
Mile 12.8, Ignace Subdivision
Near Ignace, Ontario

View final report

The occurrence

On , at approximately 1443 Eastern Daylight Time, Canadian Pacific Railway Company train 320-227 was travelling eastward at 46 mph on the Ignace Subdivision when 53 hopper cars loaded with grain derailed at Mile 12.8 near Ignace, Ontario. As a result, grain was released from several cars. There were no dangerous goods involved, and no fire was reported. No one was injured.

Media materials

News releases


Unstable track subgrade led to 2020 freight train derailment near Ignace, Ontario
Read the news release

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of George Fowler

Track and Infrastructure Engineer, Transportation Safety Board of Canada

George Fowler is the Track and Infrastructure Engineer for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). Located in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Mr. Fowler provides railroad engineering accident investigation expertise for the TSB across Canada, through evaluation and analysis of track, structures, and signal infrastructure performance.

Mr. Fowler joined the TSB in 2002 after a 30-year career with Canadian National Railway, where he held various engineering positions in planning, inspection, production, construction, and maintenance. With the TSB, he has been investigator-in-charge of a number of major accidents involving track infrastructure failure, wheel/rail interaction, track/train dynamics, and human performance. He is responsible for defining and validating both engineering and operational safety issues and deficiencies.

Mr. Fowler is a professional engineer with a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta, and is a member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA).

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.