Safety Board Says Transport Canada Must Do More To Keep Railways Safe
The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada says it remains concerned about the federal government’s legislative oversight of rail safety, 18 months following the derailment, explosions and fires that killed 47 people and leveled much of downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec (Globe and Mail). Both the TSB and the Auditor-General have found significant flaws in the oversight of in-house safety management plans developed by railway companies. Some railway safety experts have gone further and accused the federal government of letting railway corporations regulate themselves. While the TSB acknowledged progress on some rail safety issues, it said Transport Canada must do more to ensure railway companies are following their safety management plans.
During the past 2 decades, the TSB has made many safety-related recommendations as part of their investigations of derailments and other railway accidents and incidents, but many of their recommendations have not been adequately addressed or not addressed at all by rail companies or Transport Canada. Deteriorating rail infrastructure, dangerous goods tank cars that puncture easily during derailments, and insufficient adherence to safety measures by railway company senior management, have led some railway employees to label crude oil trains as “BOMB TRAINS”.