Rail transportation safety investigation R18W0237

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 23 April 2020

Table of contents

Main-track train derailment

Hudson Bay Railway
Freight train 995-15
Mile 99.59, Wekusko Subdivision
Ponton, Manitoba

View final report

The occurrence

On , at about 1632 Central Daylight Time, Hudson Bay Railway freight train 995 was proceeding northward on the Wekusko Subdivision at 25 mph when the 3 head-end locomotives and the first 4 cars derailed after encountering a washout at Mile 99.59, near Ponton, Manitoba. All 3 locomotives were destroyed. The crew was trapped in the cab of the head-end locomotive. The locomotive engineer was seriously injured and was airlifted to a hospital in Thompson, Manitoba, in critical condition. The conductor was seriously injured and died of his injuries on site about 8.5 hours after the derailment. The locomotive fuel tanks were ruptured and released about 6800 litres of diesel fuel.

Media materials

News release

2020-04-23

Track washout led to September 2018 fatal derailment near Ponton, Manitoba
Read the news release

Deployment notice

2018-09-17

TSB deploys an investigator to a train derailment near Ponton, Manitoba

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying an investigator to a Hudson Bay Railway train derailment that occurred on 15 September 2018 near Ponton, Manitoba. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Jerry Berriault

Jerry Berriault has been with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) since 2007. He is a senior regional investigator, Central Region, based out of the Winnipeg, Manitoba, office.

Among other responsibilities, he has been the Investigator-in-Charge of eight rail accident investigations and served as a team member in a number of other investigations throughout Canada providing operational and technical expertise.

Before joining the TSB, Mr. Berriault held numerous positions with Canadian National Railway (CN) from 1980 until 2007 including superintendent of operations. While at CN he gained extensive knowledge of all aspects of train operations, including both the mechanical and engineering functions.


Photos


  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.

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