Fatal rail crash in Canada prompts hand brake order

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Fatal rail crash in Canada prompts hand brake order

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:15 pm

A train crash that fatally killed all three rail workers on-board when the train left the tracks in a known twisty descent area of British Columbia has led to Canada's Transport minister to issue an order that all trains must use hand brakes on mountain grades.

Before the train derailed, hurtling down one of the steepest grades in Canada before coming off the track and plunging 60 metres into the Kicking Horse River, it had sat for two hours in the bitter cold outside a remote mountain station.


Stopping a 112-car grain train on the steepest section of track in the Canadian Rockies, in bitterly cold weather, with only the air brakes keeping it from hurtling away, is an unnerving scenario for any railroader, according to a union representative for Canadian Pacific’s locomotive engineers.

“It’s not common, but it happens,” said Greg Edwards, general chairman of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, who also has 29 years’ experience as a train engineer. “Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes it’s initiated by the crew themselves. But generally speaking, no one wants to be in emergency on the hill.”


https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/02/08/transport-minister-orders-all-trains-to-use-hand-brakes-when-stopped-on-mountains-in-certain-situations.html

Freight rail remains an important way for suppliers to move commodities and merchandise across Canada's wide country. Which includes mountain ranges.
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