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Rail transportation safety investigation R19W0320

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 5 October 2023.

Table of contents

Main-track train derailment

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Freight train 516-398
Mile 48.86, Sutherland Subdivision
Near Guernsey, Saskatchewan

View final report

The occurrence

On 09 December 2019 at about 0010 Central Standard Time, Canadian Pacific Railway Company petroleum crude oil unit train 516-398 was proceeding eastward at 44 mph on the Sutherland Subdivision when a train-initiated emergency brake application occurred at the Wolverine Road public passive crossing located at Mile 48.85, near Guernsey, Saskatchewan. Subsequent inspection determined that 1 covered hopper car loaded with sand and 33 tank cars loaded with petroleum crude oil (UN1267, Class 3, Packing Group I) had derailed. Twenty of the 33 derailed tank cars were breached and released their contents. The released product ignited, and excess product gathered into a large pool that burned for about 24 hours. There were no injuries, and no evacuation was required.

It is estimated that a total of approximately 1.77 million litres of petroleum crude oil was released to the surface and atmosphere, which was about 57% of the total volume that was transported in the 33 derailed tank cars.

Safety communications


Rail Safety Advisory 617-02/20: Modifying key train speed based on various train risk profiles


Rail Safety Advisory 617-03/20: Enhanced track standards for key routes

Media materials

News releases


Undetected broken rail led to the 2019 crude oil train derailment and fire near Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to a train derailment near Lanigan, Saskatchewan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, 9 December 2019 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of a derailment involving a Canadian Pacific Railway train near Lanigan, Saskatchewan. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


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.


  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.