Nova Scotia

Transportation Safety Board issues warning after 2 Via trains seriously damaged

Canada’s transportation safety watchdog is issuing a warning following Via passenger trains in Nova Scotia and Ontario were damaged by material deliberately left on the tracks.

One of the incidents happened last week near Truro, N.S., involving a Via train from Halifax

Via said none of the passengers or 12 crew members were injured after one of its trains struck debris outside Truro, N.S. on Wednesday. (Robert Guertin/CBC)

Canada's transportation safety watchdog is issuing a warning after two Via passenger trains were seriously damaged by material left on the track.

One of the incidents happened last week near Truro, N.S., when a Via train travelling from Halifax to Montreal had its fuel tank punctured. The train also had broken windows and lacerations to belly plates and water tanks.

The other incident happened last month near Brighton, Ont., where a Via train suffered similar damage.

It turns out both trains were damaged by material that had been deliberately left between the rails in preparation for repair work that was to be done the next day.

In the Brighton incident, a man seated in a truck parked near the rail line was seriously injured when a piece of debris came through the truck's rear window.

In a warning issued Thursday, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) addressed its concerns to Via and CN Rail, which owns and maintains the tracks the passenger trains were running on.

The track materials included tie plates that were to be installed on the rails.

The TSB is recommending CN and Via conduct a risk assessment to ensure that Via trains will be able to travel safely through areas where work crews are preparing to work on the rails.

Rail traffic was disrupted and passengers on the disabled Nova Scotia train had to be bused to a nearby railway station where they could make alternate travel arrangements.


  • An earlier version of this story said one of the incidents happened near Springhill, N.S. In fact, it happened near Truro, N.S. An earlier version of this story also stated there were no injuries. In fact, a man was injured in the incident near Brighton, Ont.
    Mar 29, 2019 10:40 AM AT