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Canadian rule changes seek to address train runaways

By | May 19, 2022

Revisions set performance standards for rollaway systems, procedures for crews

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Two derailed locomotives and derailed hopper cars
Two derailed locomotives and derailed hopper cars
Transport Canada has issued changes to operating and equipment rules stemming from this February 2021 runaway on the Goderich-Exeter Railway in Ontario. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)

OTTAWA — Transport Canada has announced regulatory revisions to address issues involving runaway trains and equipment.

Changes to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules and Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules will set performance standards for locomotives equipped with rollaway protection, designed to automatically apply brakes when there is unintended movement; requirements before leaving a locomotive, such as confirming brakes are properly set and actions have been double-checked by another employee; and testing procedures to ensure the rollaway system is working properly.

“These updates build on the significant work already being undertaken by the railway industry to implement measures to prevent the occurrence of uncontrolled movements,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a press release. “Every additional layer of protection to reduce the risk of the uncontrolled movement of railway equipment helps keep communities and Canadians who live and work along rail lines safer.”

The regulatory changes follow two ministerial orders issued in the wake of the Feb. 1, 2021, runaway of a train on the Goderich-Exeter Railway (see “TSB report: Accidental brake release led to Ontario short line runaway,” Trains News Wire, July 16, 2021). Those orders required railways to propose procedures to be required by engineers to avoid uncontrolled movements, and to improve performance standards for rollaway protection.

One thought on “Canadian rule changes seek to address train runaways

  1. Requirements before leaving a locomotive, such as confirming brakes are properly set and actions have been double-checked by another employee. So I guess that means two person crews so one can check the other

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