Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Small Update on VIA 692 Incident
VIA 693 leaving Winnipeg
I was curious how the Transportation Safety Board investigation into the VIA 692 near miss last November was going, so I went to their rail investigations web page and had a look. On page 2 of the list there is incident R11W0247 which is named "Meharry" and the location is given as Meharry, Manitoba. No further information is available from that list, but a little Googling of the incident name came up with these details.
CN REPORTS, VIA PASSENGER TRAIN P-692-41-29, IN POSSESSION OF AN OCS CLEARANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO ENTER THE SIDING AT MEHARRY, PASSED THE WEST SIDING SWITCH MEHARRY AND CONTINUED ON THE MAIN TRACK FOR 3 MILES. IT WAS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE PASSENGER TRAIN WAS BROUGHT TO A STOP WHEN OPPOSING CN FREIGHT TRAIN G-853-41-28 CAME INTO VIEW. BOTH TRAINS WERE SAFELY BROUGHT TO A STOP. VIA 692 THEN MADE A REVERSE MOVEMENT AND ENTERED THE SIDING AT MEHARRY FROM THE EAST SWITCH WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORITY. NO INJURIES REPORTED. CN / VIA OFFICIALS RESPONDED. TSB INVESTIGATORS (WINNIPEG) DEPLOYED.
I corrected a couple of typos.
There is an important fact here that was not evident in the Winnipeg Free Press article on this incident, namely that "the passenger train was brought to a stop when opposing CN freight train G-853-41-28 came into view." The WFP article implies that the VIA engineers put the train into reverse to avoid a collision, when the blurb says "both trains were safely brought to a stop" and then VIA 692 was reversed. It puts a different light on things.
I'll check back to see when the investigation is complete. No doubt the focus in the TSB is still on the Aldershot, Ontario accident.