Posts Tagged ‘Transport Canada’

VIA Rail Caused 2019 VIA Ocean Derailment

October 1, 2020

Canadian safety authorities have concluded that a broken rail triggered the 2019 derailment of VIA Rail Canada’s Ocean in New Brunswick that left three passengers injured.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said the rail broke at the Lakeville Road crossing near Coal Branch on April 4, 2019.

The web of the north rail — the narrow section between the head and foot — fractured as the train passed over it.

The last two cars of the train derailed, but remained upright. The train was traveling 60 mph at the time of the derailment.

Passengers in the last car, a dome-lounge-observation, were unable to reach the emergency brake and a crew member in the car was unable to contact the locomotive engineer because his portable radio was thrown out of reach.

The report said the Montreal to Halifax train continued for another mile beyond the derailment point before it stopped.

Investigators said a 119-inch section of rail broke at the derailment site with the break having been exacerbated because of the use of road salt.

The Safety Board expressed concerns in its conclusion about the lack of rail inspection requirements at such locations.

Although Transport Canada requires track inspection and maintenance, its rules do not specifically address corrosion.

The Safety Board said a lack rail web inspections at grade crossings could lead to similar failures elsewhere.

VIA Hires Firms for Engineering Work

February 3, 2020

VIA Rail Canada has hired a joint venture of AECOM and Arup as the engineer to analyze a proposed high-frequency rail service in the Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor.

The joint venture will provide technical and engineering matters during the pre-procurement phase of the project.

Engineering and technical analysis is required for the project to receive final recommendation. The project also involves conducting an environmental assessment and undertaking site investigation studies, including geotechnical studies.

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank has committed CA$55 million in funding for planning and pre-procurement work for the project while the Canadian government added CA$16.1 million in funding for Transport Canada and VIA Rail to support the project.

VIA Still Seeking Quebec-Windsor Increased Service

June 2, 2019

VIA Rail Canada is studying creating passenger-only route in the Quebec-Windsor, Ontario, but its new CEO has not committed to seeing the project through.

Cynthia Garneau said at the annual VIA public meeting that the carrier has created a committee to review the prospect of making parts of the corridor passenger only.

Garneau said VIA hopes to enter into what she termed “a new phase” before the end of the year.

One element of that “new phase” could be additional trains on existing Canadian National tracks now used by VIA in the corridor.

“This project is complex and ambitious and we continue to work with Transport Canada to capture its scope, to mitigate the risks,” she said. “The feedback we’ve been getting is encouraging. It will be using existing infrastructure, as you know, and existing rights-of-way all the way from Quebec City to Toronto.”

VIA’s former CEO, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, has called for higher service frequency in the corridor.

During the meeting, VIA executives said that revenue was up 7.4 percent and ridership up 8 percent last year.

VIA expects to continue emphasizing its corridor service because it accounts for 95 percent of the carrier’s ridership.

Plans are underway to assign new single-level cars and locomotives to corridor service.

During a question and answer session, VIA management said it expects to resume tri-weekly service by the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia, by next spring after CN finishes increasing the capacity of the route used by the train.

Currently, VIA is operating one Canadian roundtrip only between Vancouver and Edmonton, Alberta.

VIA also plans to eventually resume going all the way to the end of track on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, but officials gave no date for that.

They noted that the government of Quebec is rebuilding the tracks on the route.

No plans are in the works for VIA to institute service in Western Canada to cities left behind by discontinue of bus service by Greyhound. VIA officials said the carrier does not “have the resources allocated to entertain any more services.”

Likewise, VIA management said that additional service in Southwest Ontario “is solely dependent on working with the infrastructure providers and intermodal partners to evaluate access.

Although the region shows great potential, VIA doesn’t expect to add service in the short term.