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Transportation Safety Board releases report on fatal Montreal yard accident

By | December 14, 2021

Slack action caused CN crewman to fall from equipment

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Diagram showing site of fatal switching accident
Diagram showing site of fatal switching accident
An illustration from a Transportation Safety Board of Canada report shows the site of a fatal Jan. 6 switching accident in Montreal. (Google 地图 with TSB notations)

MONTREAL — A jerk caused by slack action, following a sudden brake application, resulted in a railroad crewman falling from a car he was riding in a fatal January accident at Canadian National’s Pointe-Saint-Charles Yard in Montreal, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined in a report released Monday.

1月的. 6, 2021, accident killed an assistant conductor who was struck by the car he was riding as the train of two locomotives and 21 empty covered hoppers, working with a three-person crew, made a reverse move on the Port of Montreal Spur about 12:25 p.m.

The accident occurred after the train passed through a short tunnel under other railroad tracks. Because of restricted clearance, crew members are supposed to dismount from trains and walk through the tunnel, but the train did not stop; to avoid the clearance limitations, the assistant conductor repositioned from the side ladder of the car he was riding to the end ladder, which is contrary to CN rules, which require use of the side ladder. The report also indicates some radio communication from the assistant conductor to the locomotive engineer was not repeated by the engineer, contrary to operating rules.

In the wake of the accident, Transport Canada sent CN a letter of non-compliance relating to rules on employees riding equipment. CN issued a circular to employees about slack action resulting from excessive use of the independent brake, as well as rules for riding equipment and communication between employees.

4 thoughts on “Transportation Safety Board releases report on fatal Montreal yard accident

  1. Typical response…blame the employer for the employee(s) not following the rules, it’s the same when management punishes the entire workforce for the one person that breaks the rules…it doesn’t bring about the desired affect, which is usually to correct the wrong behavior.

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