Freight train derailment a ‘wake-up call’ on rail safety, councillor says
Human error blamed for freight train derailment in heart of the city after a Canadian Pacific Railway train collided with another on Sunday morning.
By Ebyan Abdigir, Aug. 21, 2016
Human error is being blamed for a freight train derailment in the heart of Toronto Sunday morning that had crews scrambling to contain a diesel fuel leak.
The derailment happened after a train struck the tail of another train at about 5:20 a.m. near Dupont and Bathurst Sts., Canadian Pacific Railway spokesperson Martin Cej told the Star.
No one was injured in the collision and subsequent derailment and the diesel fuel leak, which Toronto police said had not been a threat to public safety, was quickly contained.
Cej said that one car was carrying batteries and aerosols, which are classified as “dangerous goods” under Canadian regulation, but they did not leak, he confirmed.
City councillor Josh Matlow raised new concerns Sunday about freight trains running through densely populated neighbourhoods.
“While it was incredibly fortunate no one was hurt today, this derailment should act as a wake-up call for the federal government to move swiftly on rail safety,” he said.
This spring, Mayor John Tory, Matlow and 16 other councillors whose wards are nestled by rail lines, signed a letter sent to Marc Garneau, the federal Transport Minister, calling for better rail safety.
The 2016 federal budget allocated $143 million to be used over three years to improve rail safety.
Cej said “early indications” point to human error as the cause of Sunday’s collision and derailment and that equipment failure was not a factor.
Bartlett Ave., north of Dupont, was closed while police and rail officials investigated the incident.
Although there were no dangerous goods on board either train Sunday, roughly 9 per cent of goods transported by CP in Ontario are regulated dangerous goods, according to a disclosure to Transport Canada for 2015.
A 2014 investigation by Star reporter Jessica McDiarmid monitored CP’s rail line that crosses Barlett Ave. on its way to Dupont St. in the Junction before it goes northward, west of the Don Valley.
Between two 12-hour shifts, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the Star found that more than 130 cars and tanks carried dangerous goods such as crude oil, methyl bromide and ethyl trichlorosilane, and more.
Since the 2013 Lac-Mégantic disaster, rail companies are required to provide information to municipalities for emergency planning, however, under strict confidentiality agreements. Canada’s largest railroads already did this upon request.
In February 2015, the federal government introduced a bill that increased the amount of insurance railways must carry to cover costs in the event of a derailment.
Repost from FOX 9, Eden Prairie MN [Editor: It was the truck carrying propane that exploded, not the train. Firefighters let it burn into the night. Derailed train cars ended up very near another stationary propane tank, but did not hit it. – RS]
Railroad: Video shows propane truck never stopped for train in Callaway, Minn.
POSTED: MAR 25 2016 02:29PM CDT, UPDATED: 02:38PM CDT
CALLAWAY, Minn. (KMSP) – Canadian Pacific Railway says its onboard video shows a propane tanker truck never stopped and pulled out in front of the train before Thursday’s fiery crash in Callaway, Minnesota. The northwestern Minnesota town of 200 people was evacuated as a precaution until the order was lifted at 10 a.m. Friday morning.
The crash happened at approximately 12:25 p.m. Thursday near Highway 59. Canadian Pacific said 11 empty train cars and one locomotive derailed as a result of the crash. None of the cars were carrying hazardous materials and none of the train cars caught on fire. The railroad said its train crew sounded the locomotive’s horn as the train approached the crossing.
Two members of the train crew sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were both taken to Essentia Hospital in Detroit Lakes, where they were treated and released Thursday afternoon.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will travel to Callaway on Saturday to visit the crash site and meet with railroad and community leaders.
Shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday, the propane tank at the scene exploded, sending a fireball into the air. No injuries were reported. According to the Becker County sheriff: “On March 24 at approximately 10:17 p.m., fire department crews were tending the propane tanker fire on the south side of the city of Callaway, Minn. At this time the tank failed causing immediate evacuation of all contents. All personnel at the scene were accounted for and uninjured.”
Canadian Pacific said its crews were able to access the site starting Thursday evening and began the process of clearing the rail line. Six railcars were moved to the side, while 5 were re-railed. Early Friday morning, engineering personnel began replacing track, and the first train passed through the site at 10:15 a.m. Friday.
Repost from SFGate [Editor: Imagine if it was an oil train headed for San Luis Obispo. – RS]
Train slams into stalled RV in Berkeley, driver injured
By Jenna Lyons, March 3, 2016 9:14 pm
An Amtrak train struck a stalled RV on tracks in Berkeley Thursday evening, seriously injuring the RV’s driver, who officials said had already left the trailer but was hurt in the aftermath of the collision.
Train number 718, the San Joaquin, had 73 passengers on board when it struck the unoccupied vehicle, Amtrak officials said. No passengers or crew members reported injuries.
Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Francisco Castillo, Jr. said the driver of the RV, who was not identified, left the vehicle after it started stalling at the tracks on Bancroft Way in Berkeley.
The train collided with the RV about 6:10 p.m., while the impact pushed the trailer in the driver’s direction, Castillo said.
“When the Amtrak train collided with the RV, the vehicle spun and hit the driver,” he said.
The driver was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland with serious injuries, Castillo said.
Jenna Lyons is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
Crockett: Amtrak train slams into unoccupied car; no injuries
By Tom Lochner, 11/25/2015 11:54:27 PM PST
CROCKETT — No one was injured Wednesday when an Amtrak Capitol Corridor train with 224 passengers on board slammed into an unoccupied car, an Amtrak official said.
The crash occurred at 7:07 p.m. near the intersection of Loring and Rolph avenues. The train, which was headed from Sacramento to San Jose, was on its way again at 8:57 p.m., said Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham.
A nearby train headed in the opposite direction was delayed for a similar length of time as the car was removed from the tracks, Graham said. Three other trains were delayed for shorter periods.
No further information was available late Wednesday.