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CP CEO on fatal wreck: ‘This is a tragedy’ NEWSWIRE

By Justin Franz | February 5, 2019

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FIELD, British Columbia — Canadian Pacific president and CEO Keith Creel called this week’s fatal derailment in British Columbia a “tragedy” and has vowed to figure out what caused a train to derail while descending Kicking Horse Pass.

Three railroaders were killed at about 1 a.m. Monday when a westbound grain train derailed between the Upper and Lower Spiral Tunnels east of Field in Yoho National Park. According to CP officials, the three-person crew included conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. All three men were from the Calgary area.

“This is a tragedy that will have a long-lasting impact on our family of railroaders,” Creel said in a statement late Monday. “The incident is under investigation and we will not speculate at this time on a cause —we owe it to those involved to get it right.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the incident. TSB investigators were scheduled to brief the media about their initial investigation on Tuesday morning.

Video footage of the wreck shows dozens of covered hoppers derailed in three different locations, including alongside the Trans-Canada Highway. At least one locomotive fell into the Kicking Horse River.

According to Teamsters Canada, at least eight railroaders have died in Canada since November 2017. Lyndon Isaack, president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, said in a statement Monday that more needs to be done to protect the country’s railroaders.

“Today, our focus is on this accident as well as the victims’ friends and families. But moving forward, the government and the rail industry will have to recognize that something is wrong and change is needed. Eight workplace fatalities in a little over a year is not something that should be expected or accepted,” he said.

This week’s derailment is the second incident on Kicking Horse Pass in a month. On Jan. 3, 15 cars on a westbound train derailed inside the Upper Spiral Tunnel, forcing CP to close its main line for two days.

10 thoughts on “CP CEO on fatal wreck: ‘This is a tragedy’ NEWSWIRE

  1. One further point to mention about the press conference Mr. O’Neil referenced, the TSB says there are 99 cars and three locomotives on the ground, and not one inch of road access to get at them. This is going to be a big time old school cleanup.

  2. How many more deaths on the alter of PSR are going to be required before its advocates see the connexion between marginal limits of safe practice and costly “accidents.” Pushing the boundaries of safety beyond determinable reason in persuit of economy will yield very bitter and costly fruit. Mountain railroading, particularly in the Selkirks, is no place for operational experimentation. When dollar labor costs per tare ton-mile are netted out against wreck loses. perhaps someone in the accounting department will see the light.

  3. I doubt that PSR had any role in this accident, although we will have to wait for the details of the investigation to be released. The reality is that things can go wrong, and especially in extreme temperatures. Any complex device is only as good as its weakest link, no matter how big the machine might be.

  4. John Sutherland, I believe you are entirely wrong. The Safety Board has explained that for two hours there was no air pressure in the train line so the 3 units of power pumping air went nowhere. Account of the -20F climate, the air leaked out of the brake piston and the emergency reservoirs. To prove this the Safety Board could duplicate this train and do another test in the same manner and show that the new crew had a train with no air pressure in any reservoirs to operate any automatic brakes on the train except the locomotives. If the new crew knew that, (lack of experience) they could have tried to put the three units in reverse as soon as the train moved un-expectantly. Or they could have put hand brakes on while they charged the train to proper pressure.

    What was the first action E.H. Hunter did when he started PSR on CSX? He told all Road Foremen of Engines to exercise their right and go back as an engineman or become a Trainmaster. But he also fired most of the Trainmaster which is the non-agreement supervisor of the performance of the operating crews. I strongly suggest that there has been very little close supervision of these CP engine crews. It is unbelievable that a crew would leave a train on a grade in emergency application without putting on 13 hand brakes (10%+2). This wreck was caused by crews who had not been trained properly. This is account of PSR and the reduction of on train supervision and that boils back to EHH.

    Why is it taking so long to arrest the inbound crew for causing the death of 3 fellow members? They should go to jail. You don’t put a train in emergency application just to hold it and walk away without making a service application and applying hand brakes.
    This spiral section of CP needs to have the very steep automatic safety switches re-installed to catch any runaway controlled by track circuit and radar speed control.

    At Las Megantic, Engineman Harding only applied 24 brake shoes to any wheels and when the automatic engines brakes bleed off, that is not enough to hold a 7000 ton train. If he applied hand brakes on 3 oil cars, (10%+2) it would have doubled what he did with 24 more brake shoes, but his office had instructed that the engine brakes would hold the train, but then a fuel line caught fire. By the way that fire could have burned all night without doing any damage. All the engineers operating those trains knew how few hand brakes were being applied, and knew if any engine shut down, they would not hold a train. All the engineers can also share the guilt for killing 47 people.

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