Tag Archives: Broken wheel

Wheel issues, speed caused 2014 Brockville rail train derailment

Repost from CBC News
[Editor:  Note the industry terminology: “the TSB blamed the derailment on “truck hunting,” a term used by people in the industry to refer to the side-to-side movement of wheel sets on a particular freight car. Excessive truck hunting can cause the wheel to lift, potentially leading to a derailment, the TSB said.”  – RS]

Wheel issue caused 2014 Brockville CN Rail train derailment, report finds

No one injured in July 2014 incident, only a small amount of aviation fuel lost, report says
CBC News, Nov 05, 2015 1:24 PM ET
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released this aerial photo of the derailment site after the July 2014 incident.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released this aerial photo of the derailment site after the July 2014 incident. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)

A wheel issue caused the derailment of a 26-car CN Rail train near Brockville last summer, according to a report by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Two loaded automobile cars, five cars carrying carbon powder, and 13 cars containing aviation fuel residue were among those that jumped the tracks on July 10, 2014, near Lyn Road and Highway 401, about 115 kilometres south of Ottawa.

No one was injured.

In its report, the TSB blamed the derailment on “truck hunting,” a term used by people in the industry to refer to the side-to-side movement of wheel sets on a particular freight car.

Excessive truck hunting can cause the wheel to lift, potentially leading to a derailment, the TSB said.

In the case of the Brockville derailment, the TSB blamed a combination of factors: the speed of the train, the type of car where the wheel issue manifested itself — a 24-metre-long “centrebeam bulkhead flat car” — and the worn condition of the side bearings.

The train was traveling about 100 km/h at the time of the accident, the report said.

‘Small amount’ of fuel lost

The derailment stirred memories of the tragic Lac-Mégantic rail disaster of 2013, in which 47 people died after a train carrying crude oil derailed in the small Quebec community.

Because the fuel cars on the CN train that derailed near Brockville were mostly empty, only a “small amount of product” was lost, the TSB said Thursday. Still, the damage to the fuel cars was consistent with what had been observed in previous accidents, the safety board said.

“The potential for catastrophic environmental impacts and loss of life remains, thereby reinforcing the need for improved tank car design standards,” said the board.

Since the accident, CN has upgraded all of the flat cars in their fleet similar to the one where the wheel issue occurred and has introduced new speed restrictions on those cars, the TSB said.

    Montana county has had 5 derailments in two years

    Repost from The Dickinson Press

    Montana county has had 5 derailments in two years

    By Amy Dalrymple on Jul 20, 2015 at 11:22 p.m.
    An investigator takes photos at the site of a crude oil train derailment on Saturday, July 18 east of Culbertson, Mont. Twenty-two oil tankers derailed, leaking an estimated 35,000 gallons of oil. (FNS Photo by Amy Dalrymple)

    CULBERTSON, Mont. — Five train derailments have occurred in less than two years in the northeastern Montana County where crews continue cleaning up after last week’s oil train derailment.

    In addition to the two train derailments that occurred last week within a 20-mile stretch of Roosevelt County, two railcars also derailed at Culbertson in February, according to the Federal Railroad Administration database, which is updated through April.

    The cause of that incident, which did not cause injuries or release of hazardous material, was attributed to human error, according to information submitted to the FRA.

    The area also had two train derailments in 2014, including the derailment of two Amtrak cars in April of that year in the neighboring community of Bainville.

    Two people were hurt in the derailment, which caused more than $100,000 in damage to Amtrak equipment and nearly $500,000 in damage to the track, the FRA database shows.

    The cause that derailment is listed as “track roadbed settled or soft,” according to information submitted to the FRA.

    The other 2014 incident, which involved one railcar that derailed in December at Culbertson, was attributed to a broken wheel, the FRA database shows.

    The entire state of Montana had 19 train derailments in 2014, the FRA information shows.

    Last Tuesday, nine railcars derailed near Blair, Mont., damaging about 1 mile of track. The cause remains under investigation.

    BNSF Railway inspects the track in that area at least four times per week, spokesman Matt Jones said.

    The FRA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration continued collecting evidence Monday to investigate the cause of Thursday’s derailment involving 22 oil tankers. Four of the derailed tank cars leaked oil, the FRA said, and spilled an estimated 35,000 gallons of oil.

    The train was not speeding at the time it derailed, an FRA spokesman said. It was traveling 44 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone, the spokesman said.

    BNSF environmental specialists continue to clean up at the site. Oil will be removed from the remaining tank cars in the next several days, and the cars will be removed after that, Jones said.

    Crews are excavating contaminated soil, said Daniel Kenney, enforcement specialist with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, which is monitoring the cleanup. The spill was not reported to have contaminated any water sources and has not threatened human health, Kenney said.

    The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources confirmed Monday that Statoil, the company that owns the oil that was on the train, is in compliance with the state’s oil conditioning order.

    The order, which took effect in April, aims to reduce the volatility of Bakken crude oil.

    Statoil was meeting the order by operating its equipment at specific temperatures and pressures, said Department of Mineral Resources spokeswoman Alison Ritter. Companies also can comply by submitting vapor pressure tests to the state.

    The train with was loaded by Savage Services in Trenton, N.D., and headed to Anacortes, Wash., the FRA said.

    Jeff Hymas, a spokesman for Savage Services, said Monday the railcar inspection protocols at the Trenton terminal are consistent with FRA and BNSF requirements.