Rail transportation safety investigation R21M0002

Updated in March 2021 : This investigation is in the report phase.

Table of contents

Main-track train derailment

Canadian National
Saint-Hilaire, New Brunswick

The occurrence

On , a Canadian National freight train was proceeding eastward when it derailed near Saint-Hilaire, New Brunswick. According to information gathered, 22 of the 171 cars derailed, some of which contained dangerous goods. There were no injuries, no fire, no leak and no evacuation. The TSB is investigating.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Dennis Church

Dennis Church joined the Transportation Board of Canada (TSB) in January 2019. He brings with him almost 15 years of experience in the railway industry.

Just before joining the TSB, Mr. Church had occupied the position of certified railway car technician for VIA Rail Canada Inc. at its Ottawa Station since 2016. He started his railway career with Ottawa Central Railway (OCR) as a maintenance-of-way employee in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he started a carman apprenticeship. In 2008, after OCR was amalgamated with the Canadian National Railway Company, Dennis was assigned as the mechanical emergency respondent for Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. In this role, he was responsible for responding to emergency calls, incident investigation, dimensional load inspections and rolling stock repairs.


Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

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.

Date modified: