Canada’s transportation investigator says track infrastructure failures may have played a role in three recent derailments involving oil-laden trains in northern Ontario.
The Transportation Safety Board says it wants Transport Canada to review the risk assessments for a stretch of track known as the CN Ruel subdivision following the fiery derailments in Gogama and Minnipuka.
It says trains have already been ordered to travel slowly on the Class 4 welded rail track due to “various infrastructure and track maintenance issues,” but that heavily loaded tank cars often exert “higher than usual forces” on the track.
The board says that exposes weaknesses in the track and makes it more susceptible to failure.
The agency says its preliminary observations on the March 7 Gogama derailment also found the tank cars performed similarly to those involved in the deadly derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., despite meeting upgraded safety standards for Class 111 tank cars.
Similar observations were made about a Feb. 14 derailment near the same community, which is about 80 kilometres south of Timmins.
© 2015 The Canadian Press