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Rail transportation safety investigation R16W0074

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 20 March 2018.

Table of contents

Uncontrolled movement of railway equipment

Canadian Pacific Railway
2300 remote control locomotive system training yard assignment
Mile 109.7, Sutherland Subdivision
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

View final report

The occurrence

On , at about 0235 Central Standard Time, while switching in Sutherland Yard in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canadian Pacific Railway 2300 remote control locomotive system training yard assignment was shoving a cut of cars into track F6. As the assignment was brought to a stop, empty covered hopper car EFCX 604991 uncoupled from the train, unnoticed by the crew. The car rolled uncontrolled through the yard and onto the main track within cautionary limits of the Sutherland Subdivision. The car travelled about 1 mile and over 2 public automated crossings before coming to a stop on its own. There were no injuries and no derailment. No dangerous goods were involved.

Safety communications

Safety advisories


Rail Safety Advisory Letter 09/16: Protection of main track against runaway rolling stock at CP's Sutherland Yard

Media materials

News releases


Continued risk of uncontrolled movements of rolling stock highlighted in 2016 incident in Sutherland Yard in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB launches an investigation into the uncontrolled movement of a railway car in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

After a detailed assessment, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is launching an investigation (R16W0074) into the uncontrolled movement of a railway car that occurred in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on 27 March. During switching by Canadian Pacific employees in the Sutherland Yard, a tail-end rail car separated from the train and rolled uncontrolled through the yard and across two public level railway crossings equipped with automatic protection before coming to rest on the main line. There were no injuries.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Glen Pilon

Glen Pilon has been with the TSB since 2008 as Technical Coordinator and investigator at the TSB Head Office in Gatineau, Quebec. He has been the investigator-in-charge of 4 rail accident investigations and has acted as train operations expert on many others. Mr. Pilon worked for the Ottawa Valley Railway (OVR) from 1996 until 2008 as locomotive engineer and safety officer and with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) from 1987 until 1996 in operations as trainman and conductor.

  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 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.