HALIFAX — The Transportation Safety Board says a corroded rail at a road crossing caused the derailment of a Via Rail passenger train last year in eastern New Brunswick.
The last two passenger cars jumped the tracks near Coal Branch as the train was travelling north of Moncton at 95 kilometres per hour on April 4, 2019.
The cars remained upright, but three passengers suffered minor injuries.
The independent agency issued a report today saying an investigation found the north rail at the Lakeville Road crossing broke as the train roared along the tracks.
The investigation report says road salt likely contributed to corrosion that weakened the rail's web, which is the thin section that connects the rail's foot with its thicker head.
The board says it remains concerned by the lack of requirements to assess corrosion at railway crossings, where the rails are difficult to see and are susceptible to holding moisture and debris.
"The corrosion had not been identified by the visual or ultrasonic track inspections, because the web of the rail was hidden by the crossing surface," the board said in a statement.
"If rail web thinning due to corrosion is not assessed at appropriate intervals . . . rail with compromised web sections can go undetected, increasing the risk of an in-service failure."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.
The Canadian Press