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Canadian Railroads > CP & CN turn to Appeal Tribunal to overturn Hand Brake Order

Date: 03/08/19 22:08
CP & CN turn to Appeal Tribunal to overturn Hand Brake Order
Author: Marcus

CP, CN, and the Railway Association of Canada 
have announced an appeal of the hand brake Order
which was issued by the Minister of Transport after the fatal runaway derailment of February 4.
The Order requires that trains that stop by emergency air brake application
on mountain grades of 1.8% or more, must be secured by a large number of hand brakes,
depending on tonnage and severity of grade.
The appeal will be heard by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

In a CP press release, CP President and CEO Keith Creel is quoted,
"CP remains steadfast in our commitment to safety, across our entire operation."
"The application of handbrakes in accordance with the Ministerial Order introduces additional risks
and will have unintended consequences. We are seeking a review of the Ministerial Order
because we firmly believe safer options are available and we must get this right."

An email from CN spokesman Alexandre Boule was quoted in the Financial Post newspaper,
"CN has complied with this order since it came into force,
but is of the view that alternative solutions are available
that will more adequately address the safety objectives and the realities on the ground."

It was previously reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper that just last Monday, February 25,
another grain train lost control on the Field hill, requiring an emergency brake application to stop it,
and requiring hand brakes be applied according to the Ministerial Order.
"Separately, on Monday, another CP crew was forced to hit the emergency brakes after losing control of a 109-car grain train
on the same stretch of westbound tracks, coming to a halt without derailing near the town of Field, The Globe and Mail has learned."
Similar application of hand brakes "could be required as often as four times a month in the winter,
said a source The Globe agreed not to identify."





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/19 22:51 by Marcus.

Date: 03/09/19 09:28
Re: CP & CN turn to Appeal Tribunal to overturn Hand Brake Order
Author: joemvcnj

IOW, we do not want to walk a train that is 3 miles long, or broken in two miles apart  with PSR to have a passing meet, and set hand brakes.

Date: 03/09/19 11:44
Re: CP & CN turn to Appeal Tribunal to overturn Hand Brake Order
Author: eminence_grise

In November 1977, a loaded coal train with Locotrol remotes mid-train ran away from Glacier BC in winter conditions. Luckily the lead units broke away from the train as the cars derailed. Sixty nine cars of one hundred and nine derailed. An extensive investigation followed, but in 1977, event recorders were in the future, and the crew were so shaken up by the experience that they could not accurately describe how they handled the controls under cross examination.

An interesting fact that was not disclosed until years later was the fact that a technician rescued the locotrol equipment and air brake manifold from the Robot Car. It was taken to the Ogden shops in Calgary and tested. It performed properly, and was "red tagged" (Do Not Use) and placed in storage.

The technician suspected that a certain component would not stand up to the stringent testing required of aircraft components, 
(Calgary was a service base for CP Air) . He subjected the component to multiple tests,  and sure enough, it failed occasionally when subjected to multiple tests.

In 1981, a very similar runaway happened near Fording in the Crowsnest Pass.  By that date, basic event recorders called TOR (Train Operations Recorder) had come into use, but showed only speed, throttle position and air brake functions). The train was being operated by a very experienced engineer who unlike those involved in the 1977, remembered exactly how he operated the train.

In 1977, the crew were blamed for the runaway and the incident was not closely examined. In 1981, the engineer was steadfast in his testimony and threatened to quit if the hearing officer didn't accept his testimony. The technician who had rescued the locotrol equipment had left CP by that date to work for the company supplying electrical components for Locotrol operation and decided to reveal the test results.  The hearing was adjourned, and has yet to be concluded. All involved are retired and some have passed on. CP instantly replaced all the defective components.
Locotrol version 1 was replaced by later versions, and todays DPU shares none of the technology used in the 1970's.

The reason I bring this up is that following the 1981 incident, train and engine crews received extensive training in air brake operation and mountain territory train handling, and many company regulations were changed.

Will the current generation of operating employees get similar training ?.

An interesting sidelight is that our air brake instructor mentioned instructing operating employees across Canada, and in Maine and Vermont.
I'm sure he instructed Tom Harding, then a CP employee. Tom was later the person responsible for the Lac Megantic incident.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/19 18:20 by eminence_grise.

Date: 03/14/19 22:34
Re: CP & CN turn to Appeal Tribunal to overturn Hand Brake Order
Author: SD45X

They tye trains down regularly on Palmer Lake when they go into emergency.
Why wouldn’t you do so on a mountain grade to recover your air for the trip down?

Posted from iPhone

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