Excessive Speed Led to CN Derailment
The recently released Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada report on the September 24, 2011 main-track derailment of a Canadian National Railway train near Point-Saint-Charles, Quebec says the train exceeded the authorized speed limit at a switching crossover (Canada NewsWire, TSB Report).
The investigation found that side-to-side force due to excessive speed and the sudden application of the brakes caused the wheel of the 58th car to lift, leading to the derailment of 6 cars. About 650 feet of track and several track turnouts were damaged.
See this link for other examples of CN derailments. Other industries and safety associations point to the high number of derailments and spills as the main reason not to ship oil by rail, as the rail industry in Canada is currently pushing for. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association points to the 1,023 accidents on Canada’s railroads in 2011, as reported by the TSB, to support its contention that pipelines are safer than rail cars when it comes to shipping oil (Edmonton Journal). It also costs about 4 times as much to ship oil by rail as by pipeline.