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Rail transportation safety investigation R21H0087

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 06 April 2022.

Table of contents

Crossing collision

VIA Rail Canada Inc.
Passenger train No. 53
Mile 11.75, Smiths Falls Subdivision
Richmond, Ontario

View final report

The occurrence

On , VIA Rail Canada Inc. (VIA) train No. 53 was proceeding westward at 83 mph (134 km/h) when it struck a commercial cube van at a level crossing at Mile 11.75 in the Smiths Falls Subdivision. The vehicle's operator was fatally injured. One VIA service employee on the train sustained minor injuries. The train did not derail as a result of the occurrence but sustained extensive damage and could not continue.

Media materials

News releases


Investigation report: Fatal collision between a truck and a train in the village of Richmond in Ottawa, Ontario, in June 2021
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys team to the site of a train accident in Richmond, Ontario

Richmond Hill, Ontario, 30 June 2021 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following an accident involving a VIA Rail passenger train and a commercial road vehicle in Richmond, Ontario. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Glen Pilon

Glen Pilon has been with the TSB since 2008 as Technical Coordinator and investigator at the TSB Head Office in Gatineau, Quebec. He has been the investigator-in-charge of a number of rail accident investigations and has acted as train operations expert on many others. Mr. Pilon worked for the Ottawa Valley Railway (OVR) from 1996 until 2008 as locomotive engineer and safety officer and with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) from 1987 until 1996 in operations as trainman and conductor.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 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.