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Rail transportation safety investigation R12T0038

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 11 June 2013.

Table of contents

Main-track derailment

Via Rail Canada Inc.
Passenger train no. 92
Mile 33.23, Canadian National
Oakville Subdivision
Aldershot, Ontario

View final report

The occurrence

On 26 February 2012, VIA Rail Canada Inc. passenger train No. 92 (VIA 92) was proceeding eastward from Niagara Falls to Toronto, Ontario, on track 2 of the Canadian National Oakville Subdivision near Burlington, Ontario. VIA 92, which was operated by 2 locomotive engineers and a locomotive engineer trainee, was carrying 70 passengers and a VIA service manager. After a stop at the station at Aldershot, Ontario (Mile 34.30), the train departed on track 2. The track switches were lined to route the train from track 2 to track 3, through crossover No. 5 at Mile 33.23, which had an authorized speed of 15 mph. At 1525:43 Eastern Standard Time, VIA 92 entered crossover No. 5 while travelling at about 67 mph. Subsequently, the locomotive and all 5 coaches derailed. The locomotive rolled onto its side and struck the foundation of a building adjacent to the track. The operating crew was fatally injured and 45 people (44 passengers and the service manager) sustained various injuries. The locomotive fuel tank was punctured and approximately 4300 litres of diesel fuel was released.

Media materials

News releases


TSB calls for fundamental changes in wake of 2012 VIA Rail crash near Burlington, Ontario
Read the news release




The February 2012 VIA Rail train 92 derailment in Burlington, Ontario R12T0038
Wendy Tadros, Chair of the Board, Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Rob Johnston, Manager, Central Region and Headquarters



In February 2012, three locomotive engineers were killed and dozens of passengers were injured when VIA 92 derailed at a crossover en route from Niagara Falls to Toronto.

VIA Rail train 92 derails in Burlington, Ontario

Deployment notice


TSB deploys team to investigate rail accident near Burlington, Ontario

Gatineau, Quebec, 26 February 2012 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to a VIA Rail train derailment at Aldershot station near Burlington, Ontario, mile 33.3 on Canadian National's Oakville subdivision. Tom Griffith is the investigator-in-charge of this accident. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Tom Griffith

Tom Griffith has been with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) since 1990. He held the position of Senior Regional Investigator in Toronto since he joined the Board.

During his time at the TSB, he has been the Investigator-In-Charge (IIC) of 28 rail accident investigations and served as a team member on a number of other investigations, providing technical expertise.

Prior to joining the TSB, Mr. Griffith worked for Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) for 10 years as Car Foreman and worked for Canadian National (CN) for 10 years as a Dangerous Commodities Officer. He also worked for the Canadian Transport Commission as a Dangerous Commodities Officer and a Labour Canada Officer.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 2 investigation. These investigations are complex and involve several safety issues requiring in-depth analysis. Class 2 investigations, which frequently result in recommendations, are generally completed within 600 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.