Goderich, Ont. train derailment prompts new safety measures
A train that derailed in Goderich, Ont. left behind a trail of damage on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Scott Miller / CTV News)
MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Tranport Canada has ordered new safety measures be put in place following a train derailment in Goderich, Ont. last month.
On Feb. 1, an out-of-control freight train hit a building and two vehicles along the town’s harbourfront. No one was injured.
On Thursday, Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra issued two orders under the Railway Safety Act, to "further reduce the risk of uncontrolled movement of rail equipment."
The first requires locomotive engineers to implement new procedures to prevent uncontrolled movement due to an unintended release of the train’s air brakes.
The second order proposes amendments to the Railway Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules and the Canadian Rail Operating Rules.
The amendments would include improving performance standards for locomotives equipped with roll-away protection and clarifying the definition of an ‘unattended train.’
In a statement Alghabra said, “The majority of uncontrolled train movements take place in rail yards where the risk to the public is lower, but they can still be serious, especially for railway employees. These Ministerial Orders improve rail safety by requiring that additional layers of defence be put in place to prevent these kinds of accidents.”
Transport Canada says the federal regulator and the railway industry have been working to strengthen the rules around securing trains and preventing uncontrolled movement.
In 2020, new measures to prevent uncontrolled movement during switching operations and a new rule for trains making emergency stops on steep grades were implemented.