TSB releases new photos of damage from September's Ottawa LRT derailment

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The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada says this part of the Ottawa light rail train derailed on Sept. 19. A photo released Oct. 7 appears to show damage to the side of the train. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada - image credit)
The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada says this part of the Ottawa light rail train derailed on Sept. 19. A photo released Oct. 7 appears to show damage to the side of the train. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada - image credit)
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada has released new photos showing damage caused by the Sept. 19 derailment that has shut down Ottawa's light rail line, as well as provided an update on its interim findings.

The TSB had previously explained the westbound train with 12 passengers on board came off the rails before entering Tremblay station and travelled across a rail bridge while a wheel remained off the track.

On Thursday, investigators released new descriptions and photos of what happened, but did not offer any takeaways or recommendations from its ongoing investigation.

Investigators found displaced ballast, or the rocks around the rails, and signs of mechanical damage from an "undetermined component" of the derailed train going back to St-Laurent station, one stop to the east.

"The frequency of the impact marks increased slightly approaching the east end of Tremblay station," the update said.

There were also scrapes on the side of Tremblay station's north platform and similar damage around the part of the train where the wheel derailed.

Parts of the rail were also out of place at that station.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The derailed train kept going and hit a switch heater and signal gear, the TSB said, and then the emergency brake was triggered. The track "buckled" where the collision happened and bolts were torn off the track.

Photos, including some in the update, appear to show parts from the side of the train torn away, plus a damaged window.

"There was no reported unusual train handling nor were any track anomalies observed in advance of the train" as it left Tremblay station, the TSB said.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Transportation Safety Board of Canada

OC Transpo has not yet determined a return to service for Ottawa's light-rail system. An independent safety expert will have to sign off on any plan to resume operations before service can restart.

The TSB said Thursday it still has to look at the specific wheel parts that derailed.

In the meantime, the city is escalating its legal dispute with the builders.

With the LRT out of service, transit riders have been frustrated with cramped shuttle buses used to fill the void.

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