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Rail transportation safety investigation R21H0114

Table of contents

Train collision

Canadian National (CN)
Mile 113.3, Kingston Subdivision
Prescott, Ontario

The occurrence

On , a Canadian National (CN) freight train (CN 149) was proceeding westward on the CN Kingston Subdivision when it collided head-on with train CN 532, which was stationed on the north main track in Prescott, Ontario. As a result of the collision, the head locomotive on both trains and a total of 16 cars (14 on CN 149 and 2 on CN 532) derailed and sustained significant damage. Approximately 1000 feet of the south main track and north main track, and a spur track nearby were destroyed. Two crew members involved sustained minor injuries and one crew member sustained serious injuries. The TSB is investigating.

Media materials

Deployment notice


TSB deploys investigators to train collision in Prescott, Ontario

Ottawa, Ontario, 2 September 2021 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following a collision between two CN trains in Prescott, Ontario. The TSB is gathering information and assessing the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Jerry Berriault

Mr. 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.

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.