VIA Rail comments on Transportation Safety Board of Canada report on train 92 accident

MONTREAL, June 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Earlier today, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) issued its investigation report on the derailment of VIA passenger Train 92, in Aldershot, Ontario, on February 26, 2012. Further to its review of the report and specifically, its three recommendations, the company's President and Chief Executive Officer, Marc Laliberté issued the following statements:

"The report demonstrates a thorough review of circumstances surrounding this tragic accident. The TSB recommends that locomotives be equipped with in-cab video cameras. The report notes that the absence of audio and video recording devices limited investigators' ability to conclusively determine the cause of the accident. The TSB also acknowledges that prior to the accident, VIA Rail had started installing outward-facing video cameras on its fleet of locomotives.

"VIA Train 92 had not yet been equipped with an outward-facing camera. However, that work will be completed on the entire fleet, early in 2014. Following the accident, VIA Rail management, with the support of the leaders of its locomotive engineers' union (Teamsters Canada), started to work towards the introduction of voice recording devices inside its locomotives. This work is expected to be completed later in 2014. Once these two initiatives are fully implemented and usage rules are finalized, we will review with our union partners the feasibility of installing inward-facing video cameras."

Additionally, the TSB recommends that locomotive crashworthiness standards for new locomotives also apply to rebuilt locomotives. On this issue, Mr. Laliberté commented: "When it comes to operational safety, VIA Rail has an outstanding record of compliance and it intends to continue to fully meet any and all regulatory requirements meant to enhance the safety of its employees, passengers and the public."

Further, the report recommends the implementation of physical fail-safe train controls while recognizing that over 98% of VIA Rail's trains operate over the rail infrastructure of third-party railways. On this issue, Mr. Laliberté stated: "We appreciate that the TSB recognized VIA Rail's limited ownership of Canada's rail infrastructure. Nevertheless, like our railway partners, we are committed to working together to constantly improve the safety of our operations."

Finally, Mr Laliberté concluded his statement with the following: "Today's report was a long-awaited and necessary review of tragic circumstances that still affect all of us at VIA Rail Canada, to this day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our colleagues Ken Simmonds, Peter Snarr and Patrick Robinson. Their memory lives on in all our actions and decisions that lead to a safer and more secure operating environment."

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. Recipient of the Railway Association of Canada's Safety Award in 2011 for the 11th time in 12 years, and of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media, VIA safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Follow the progress of our transformation at http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/capital-investment.

Follow us on our Evolution Blog at viaevolution.ca.

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.



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