Rail Transportation Safety Advisory Letter 03/22
19 August 2022
Director General, Rail Safety, Transport Canada
Enterprise Building, 14th floor
427 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa ON K1A 0N5
Rail Transportation Safety Advisory Letter 03/22 (TSB occurrence R22D0058)
Trespassing on the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s Outremont spur
On 08 July 2022, at around 2216 Eastern Daylight Time, the head-end locomotive of Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) train 132-06 struck a person trespassing on the up track near Mile 3.15 of the Outremont spur in Montréal, Quebec. The person was seriously injured. The train was made up of locomotives CP 8901 and CP 8773, which were moving northward (TSB occurrence R22D0058).
The occurrence took place in Montréal’s northeast sector, where the tracks of the Outremont spur pass through residential and commercial areas. Although there are multiple structures in place that allow pedestrians and vehicles to cross the tracks, many signs of trespassing can be observed along the 6.46-mile length of the spur.
There are several dirt paths leading to the tracks, including one near the location of the occurrence (Figure 1).
The metal fencing protecting the railway right-of-way has also been vandalized in several places, resulting in numerous gaps that give access to the tracks (Figure 2).
Since 01 January 2000, 7 trespassing occurrences involving injuries on the Outremont spur have been reported to the TSB,Footnote 1 including 2 since the beginning of 2022. Of these 7 occurrences, 3 resulted in fatal injuries.
In addition to exposing themselves to the risk of injury, people who trespass on railway property may accidentally or deliberately cause damage to infrastructure and rolling stock, possibly with serious consequences.
In 2004, the TSB recorded an occurrenceFootnote 2 that led to the uncontrolled movement of rolling stock on the Outremont spur. According to the information gathered, the movement was initiated by an unauthorized human intervention.
In 2015, the TSB investigatedFootnote 3 a derailment on this spur following the uncontrolled movement of a cut of cars that had been stored there for a few months. The investigation found that the area was frequented by trespassers, and the hand brakes on the cut of cars had been altered.
During the investigation, the TSB sent Transport Canada (TC) a safety advisory letterFootnote 4 suggesting that TC might wish to review its railway inspection, maintenance, and enforcement programs to ensure that risks associated with trespassing were appropriately managed. After TC received the safety advisory, an inspection was carried out on this spur to assess the risks and identify any mitigation measures that could address the issue of trespassing.
The following measures were put in place:
- increased monitoring by CP and the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal;
- addition of “No Trespassing” signage and improvements to existing signage;
- additional efforts to raise community awareness; and
- establishment of a special program to repair fences.
When these measures were put in place, they may have helped mitigate the issue of unauthorized trespassing on the Outremont spur. However, recent occurrences, as well as observations made on site, suggest that these measures may be insufficient or ineffective.
TC may want to consider reviewing the risk management measures associated with trespassing activities on the Outremont spur, and updating these measures as necessary.
Original signed by
Vincenzo De Angelis
Director, Investigations (Rail/Pipeline)
- Director, Regulatory Affairs, Canadian Pacific Railway Company
- Director, Regulatory Affairs, Railway Association of Canada
- National Director, Operation Lifesaver Canada
- City Manager, Ville de Montréal