Of all the railway networks in the world, Canada's is the third largest and transports the fourth largest volume of goods. Every year, Canadian railways move 70% of the country's surface goods (including 40% of its exports) and carry 70 million people, meeting motorists and pedestrians at thousands of public and private crossings.
Investigations in the rail mode touch on a wide variety of subjects, such as operational decision making, risk management, component failure, supervision, metallurgy and track train dynamics.
Rail transportation occurrences in 2019
In 2019, 1246 rail accidents were reported to the TSB, up from the 2018 total of 1169, and a 17% increase from the previous 10-year (2009–2018) average of 1064.
The main-track accident rate in 2019 was 3.3 accidents per million main-track train miles, up from 2.6 in 2018 and 42% above the 10-year average of 2.3.
Rail fatalities totaled 72 in 2019, up from 57 reported last year and approximately the same as the previous 10-year average of 73. Crossing accident related fatalities totaled 28 in 2019, up from 19 in 2018 and trespasser fatalities totaled 38, up from 34 in the previous year. Five rail employees were fatally injured, which is above the 10-year average of 2 employee fatalities.
Among all railway accidents reported to the TSB in 2019, 169 involved dangerous goods. This number was up from 125 in 2018. Eight accidents resulted in a dangerous goods release in 2019, compared with 4 in 2018, and the 10-year average of 4.