TSB Laboratory Report LP132/2013

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Description of occurrence

1.1.1

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

1.2.1

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

2.1

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.

Figure 1. Wabtec Railway Electronics SBU as received.

Photo of the Wabtec Railway Electronics SBU as received.

Click image to enlarge.

2.2

Through consultation with Wabtec Railway Electronics, it was determined that this SBU had non-volatile memory (NVM) that retained data considered relevant to the investigation of this occurrence (Appendix A). Wabtec supplied the TSB Engineering Laboratory with the hardware, Footnote 1 procedures and information required to download and interpret Footnote 2 the data retained by the SBU’s NVM.

2.3

The hardware and procedures provided by Wabtec were used to successfully download the data from the SBU’s NVM. The data consisted of 7213 records, each consisting of 27 data fields (Appendix B).

2.4

The data were transferred to an Excel spreadsheet and, along with the Wabtec interpretation information, were provided to the TSB Engineering Laboratory Recorders group for analysis under LP136/2013 “LER Data Retrieval and Analysis”.

3.0 Conclusion

3.1

The data retained by the Wabtec Railway Electronics SBU were successfully extracted.

Appendices

Appendix A: Data stored in Wabtec Railway Electronics SBU

Table A 1: SBU Data Description
Column Column Identifiers
1 Message Type ID
2 Pneumatic Mode
3 Service Status
4 Valve State
5 Head Equalizing Reservoir Pressure
6 Target Pressure
7 Battery Status
8 Sleep Reason
9 Tilt Indicator
10 Rear Brake Pipe Pressure: EOT Air Pressure in psi
11 Generator Voltage (0 – 40 volts): (e.g. 245 = 24.5V)
12 +V Main Voltage (e.g. 145 = 14.5V)
13 Battery Voltage (e.g. 145 = 14.5V)
14 Last Battery Test Stored Voltage (e.g. 145 = 14.5V)
15 Battery Current Value (mA x 10, e.g. +3 = 30mA)
16 Charge State (Hold, Trickle, Fast, Float)
17 EOT Mode Indicator (Bit indicates if Data was Acquired in Air or Batter Mode)
18 HVM Status (* = ON, o = OFF)
19 Motion Status (MOV = Moving, STP = Stopped)
20 Temperature (e.g. +235 = 23.5 Degrees Celsius)
21 UTC Time: UTC Time or Elapsed Time Timer Value and Day Counter Value if no GPS Installed (hhmmss.ss)
22 Latitude: (ddmm.mmmm)
23 Hemisphere: (N = North, S = South)
24 Longitude: (ddmm.mmmm)
25 Hemisphere: (E = East, W = West)
26 Position Fix / Validity: (1 = Valid, 0 = Invalid)
27 UTC Date: (ddmmyy)

Note: Additional information describing data field (column) options can be found in the Wabtec document "EOT Data Flash Log Download and Analysis". Also no GPS module was installed in the SBU; therefore, data in columns 22 through to 26 are not valid.

Appendix B: SBU sample data

Table B 1: SBU Sample Data
Table B 1: SBU sample data
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 80 17 131 131 126 20 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33400.232 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 78 18 131 130 126 16 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33405.232 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 76 17 130 130 126 15 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33408.232 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 74 18 130 130 126 8 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33412.231 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 72 19 130 129 126 16 FAST AIR * MOV 140 33442.23 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 76 19 130 130 126 17 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33454.229 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 80 18 130 130 126 17 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33455.229 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 81 17 130 129 126 18 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33455.229 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 82 20 129 129 126 13 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33504.228 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 84 21 129 129 126 18 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33513.228 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 86 20 131 130 126 25 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33527.227 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 84 20 131 131 126 26 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33544.226 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 81 19 131 131 126 27 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33547.226 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 79 18 131 131 126 26 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33549.226 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 78 17 131 131 126 25 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33552.225 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 81 20 130 130 126 23 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33632.223 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 83 20 130 130 126 21 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33640.223 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 85 20 130 130 126 20 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33648.222 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 86 20 131 131 126 32 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33709.221 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A V 88 18 132 132 126 34 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33809.217 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 88 20 132 132 126 29 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33835.216 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A V 89 20 132 132 126 27 FAST AIR * MOV 140 33935.212 0 N 0 E 0 201122
BTSTRT REL AAR REL X X G A V 89 21 132 132 126 23 FAST AIR * MOV 150 33941.212 0 N 0 E 0 201122
SWSTRT REL AAR REL X X G A V 89 33 127 127 127 -8 FAST AIR * MOV 150 34012.21 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A V 89 31 133 127 127 9 FAST AIR * MOV 150 34112.206 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A V 89 20 132 132 127 35 FAST AIR * MOV 150 34213.203 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A V 89 19 133 133 127 31 FAST AIR * MOV 150 34313.199 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 86 20 132 132 127 28 FAST AIR * MOV 150 34337.198 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 84 19 133 132 127 30 FAST AIR * MOV 150 34340.197 0 N 0 E 0 201122
PRES_C REL AAR REL X X G A V 83 19 132 132 127 23 FAST AIR * MOV 150 34351.197 0 N 0 E 0 201122
                                                     
                                                     
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A H 0 0 121 121 121 -11 TRKL BAT * MOV 220 2036.763 0 N 0 E 0 211122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A H 0 0 121 121 121 -11 TRKL BAT * STP 230 2137.76 0 N 0 E 0 211122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A H 0 0 121 121 121 -21 TRKL BAT * MOV 220 2237.756 0 N 0 E 0 211122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A H 0 0 121 121 121 -10 TRKL BAT * MOV 220 2337.753 0 N 0 E 0 211122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X G A H 0 0 121 121 121 -32 TRKL BAT * MOV 220 2438.749 0 N 0 E 0 211122
SLPLOG REL AAR REL X X G T H 0 0 120 121 121 -32 TRKL BAT * STP 220 2456.748 0 N 0 E 0 211122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 24 119 118 118 -10 TRKL BAT o STP 210 45.997 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 24 117 118 118 -34 TRKL BAT * STP 210 145.993 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 117 118 118 -10 TRKL BAT * STP 210 246.989 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 3 118 117 117 -21 TRKL BAT * STP 210 346.986 0 N 0 E 0 431122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 1 118 118 118 -10 TRKL BAT * STP 210 446.982 0 N 0 E 0 201122
SLPLOG REL AAR REL X X D H H 0 1 118 118 118 -10 TRKL BAT * STP 210 446.982 0 N 0 E 0 201122
SLPLOG REL AAR REL X X D E H 0 10 124 126 128 -7 TRKL BAT o STP 230 0 0   0   0 0
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 124 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT o STP 210 45.997 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 123 123 123 -10 TRKL BAT * STP 200 145.993 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 123 123 123 -44 TRKL BAT * STP 200 246.989 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 0 122 123 123 -11 TRKL BAT * STP 210 346.986 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 0 123 122 122 -11 TRKL BAT * STP 200 446.982 0 N 0 E 0 201122
SLPLOG REL AAR REL X X D H H 0 0 123 122 122 -11 TRKL BAT * STP 200 446.982 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 124 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT o STP 200 45.997 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 123 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT * STP 210 145.993 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 0 123 123 123 -20 TRKL BAT * STP 210 246.989 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 0 122 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT * STP 210 346.986 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 0 123 123 123 -11 TRKL BAT * STP 210 446.982 0 N 0 E 0 201122
SLPLOG REL AAR REL X X D H H 0 0 123 123 123 -11 TRKL BAT * STP 210 446.982 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 124 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT o STP 210 45.997 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 123 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT * STP 210 145.993 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 123 123 123 -20 TRKL BAT * STP 210 246.989 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 123 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT * STP 210 346.986 0 N 0 E 0 201122
60_SEC REL AAR REL X X D A H 0 23 123 123 123 -9 TRKL BAT * STP 210 446.982 0 N 0 E 0 201122

Note: Only the first and last 30 records are shown.

This lab report is part of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's investigation report R13D0054.

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