CP Rail confirmed a rail car was involved in an ‘uncontrolled movement’ in Field earlier this month. (CP Rail photo)(CP Rail photo)

Runaway rail car reported on same B.C. train line as fatal 2019 derailment

CP Rail confirmed the incident happened on Jan. 14.

A runaway train car carrying grain through Field was recently reported to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) by CP Rail.

The rail company confirmed the incident happened on Jan. 14.

“CP can confirm a single rail car containing grain was involved in an uncontrolled movement in Field, B.C., on Jan. 14, 2020,” said Salem Woodrow, a media relations person for CP Rail.

“The incident was reported to the Transportation Safety Board. There were no injuries.”

The incident comes nearly a year after a train derailment near Field killed three CP workers on Feb. 4, 2019.

READ MORE: RCMP to review fatal field train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

In total, 99 of the train’s 112 cars left the tracks as it came barrelling down the Spiral Tunnels out of control just east of Field.

The investigation by the TSB found the train started to move despite the fact that it had been stopped using its air brakes at Partridge, the last station prior to the entrance to the Upper Spiral Tunnel. The train was stopped for about three hours before it began to “move on its own.”

The investigation also found that no hand brakes were applied to the train, which accelerated beyond the maximum track speed set at 20 mph, causing the train to derail. A new crew had also just boarded the train and were not yet ready to depart when it began to move.

The TSB investigation is still ongoing and is independant from any RCMP or CBC investigation. The investigation does not seek to assign fault or blame, or determine liability.

READ MORE: Train that derailed and killed three ‘just started moving on its own’

The RCMP confirmed it will review the file after a seven-month long investigation by the CBC, which aired on Jan. 26, revealed evidence of a possible “cover up” by the railway company.

An interview request to CP Rail was not immediately returned.

In response to the CBC investigation, TSB released a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 28, claiming the investigation was thorough and followed procedure.

“The TSB conducts all of its investigations using a longstanding, systematic methodology and within the scope of its mandate as laid out in the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act,” read the statement.

“Consequently, it was completely inappropriate for the lead TSB investigator in the Field investigation to voice any opinion implying civil and criminal liability.”

In a seperate investigation led by CP Police Services, Mark Tataryn, a former CP police officer based-in Golden, resigned from the company stating that he couldn’t be a part of an investigation that he felt was a cover-up.

Following the allegations of the possible cover-up, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents over 16,000 people in the rail industry, released a press release on Monday, Jan. 27 calling for an independent RCMP investigation.

The Alberta Federation of Labour also released a statement on Jan. 28, demanding that an independent criminal investigation into CP Rail be undertaken immediately under the Westray Act of the Canadian Criminal Code.


Claire Palmer
Editor for the Golden Star
Email me at [email protected]
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