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News release

Associated links (R20V0185)

Broken wheel led to a sudden break in rail and subsequent train derailment near Floods, British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia, February 27, 2024 — Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (R20V0185) into the 2020 derailment of a Canadian National Railway (CN) train near Floods, British Columbia (B.C).

On 14 September 2020, a CN freight train was travelling westward on the Yale subdivision when 61 cars loaded with potash derailed, releasing approximately 6 million kg of product. No dangerous goods were involved and there were no injuries.

During the site examination, it was noted that the face of the rim on one of the car wheels was missing material around the entire circumference. The investigation determined that part of the rim of that wheel broke away before the derailment, allowing the wheel to progressively drop between the rails as it continued to rotate, causing the rim to wear down due to friction while in contact with the rail. This reduced the vertical force on a second wheel, which stopped rotating, slid and gradually fell between the rails. The lateral pressure exerted against the side of the rail by both derailed wheels ultimately caused the rail to break at multiple weld points and resulted in a pileup derailment.

See the investigation page for more information.

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.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-360-4376