A typical tankcar hand brake wheel - Date/Photographer unknown.
20 July 2013
Authorities Probe Brakes
in Deadly Quebec
Lake Megantic Quebec - Canada's Transportation Safety Board has ordered railways to check the brakes on all trains, after a preliminary investigation into a deadly derailment in Quebec faulted its brakes.
The regulator on Friday also warned operators not to leave trains unattended nor unsecured on main lines, and to review their protocols for transporting dangerous goods.
"The TSB investigation has determined that the braking force applied was insufficient to hold the train on the 1.2 percent descending slope," the Transportation Safety Board said in a statement.
As such, it has asked Transport Canada to review rules for securing trains "in order to prevent unintended movements," it said.
TSB Eastern Canada manager Ed Belkaloul meanwhile told a press conference that "the number of brakes is important, but the quality of the brake pads is also very important."
"Because the brakes are basically manually applied mechanisms, it depends on the strength of the person applying the brakes, and it depends on the mechanical state of the various pieces," he said.