Did frigid temperatures play a role in fatal B.C. train crash?

By The Canadian Press
February 8, 2019 - 9:04am

CALGARY - CP Rail says frigid temperatures have a big impact on train operations.

Investigators will try to determine if the cold played a part in this week's deadly train derailment near Field B.C.

CP detailed the challenges of harsh weather in a paper last year.

It stated cold can cause air to leak from a train's brake system, causing it to run shorter trains than usual.

Trains must also travel at slower speeds when it gets colder than minus 25 Celsius.

The train that derailed was carrying 112 grain hoppers and three locomotives.

Only 13 cars and one locomotive was left on the track after the crash.

The engineer, a conductor and a trainee were killed.

The Transportation Safety Board says the train's air brakes were applied as the train was parked on a slope.

But it says something caused the train to move on its own before the crew was ready to leave.

A veteran engineer questioned whether it was wise to run a train that long in those conditions.

Joe Mulligan with Railroad Workers United says there was not much to be done once the train was in motion.

(The Canadian Press) 

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