Injuries sustained by teenagers after jumping from a moving train highlights need for greater awareness of personal safety risks
Richmond Hill, Ontario, 24 September 2019 — In its investigation report (R18T0058) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that the decision by two teenagers to enter a railway right-of-way without authority and then climb onto a slow-moving freight train contributed to the 2018 accident in which they were injured.
Shortly after 1:15 a.m. on 18 March 2018, two female teenagers climbed onto a slow-moving westbound Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) freight train at a grade-separated crossing in Toronto, Ontario. The teenagers had entered the railway right-of-way by walking through a gap between the fencing and the overpass barrier. Once the train picked up speed, the teenagers were unable to get off as planned at a nearby crossing. About 20 miles further in Mississauga, Ontario, when the train slowed at a public crossing, the teenagers jumped off the train and sustained injuries. One teenager remained on the right-of-way and was struck by a second westbound CP freight train, sustaining additional serious injuries. Both teenagers were transported to hospital for treatment.
The investigation found that the teenagers were not specifically aware of the personal safety risks of accessing the railway tracks. Their age and their intoxication at the time of the occurrence contributed to their decision to access railway property and to climb onto the train.
To address the issue of trespassing and the subsequent risk of personal injuries, the investigation highlights the need for stakeholders to develop and effectively implement collaborative engineering, enforcement, and public education strategies. A comprehensive geographic and demographic dataset for trespassing occurrences would also help maximize the effectiveness of such strategies in addressing the hazards associated with this high-risk activity.
As part of this investigation, the TSB issued Rail Safety Advisory (RSA) 02/18, highlighting the risks of trespassing and encouraging key stakeholders–notably Transport Canada, railway companies, local municipalities and Operation Lifesaver–to adopt more effective deterrence and education strategies.
See the TSB investigation page for more information.
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.
For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada