Ottawa Citizen 20 July 1977|
Derailment blamed on human error
By Tom Van Dusen Citizen staff writer
CHESTERVILLE Seventeen Canadian Pacific freight cars derailed at Finch July 10 because of human error, not a broken wheel which at first was the suspected cause.
As a result of the accident which will cost CP Rail as much as $250,000 an area track supervisor has been transferred to a less demanding post, L. A. Hill, general manager of operation and maintenance for the railway's eastern region, told The Citizen Tuesday.
A rail defect at Finch had in fact been detected by a track recorder car 10 days before the wreck and it could easily have been prevented, Hill said."
"A half hour spent resurfacing the track would have corrected the condition and the derailment would not have occurred," he said.
The recorder car which contains equipment to detect various track flaws had rated the problem at Finch a priority. It should have been remedied immediately, Hill explained.
"The maintenance staff didn't appreciate the magnitude of the defect and just didn't get around to fixing it," he said.
The 17 cars part of an 87-unit Toronto-bound freight left the tracks because a dip had developed in a bridge approach. The irregular surface was detected by the recorder car.
There were no injuries and little damage to private property in the derailment, the second at Finch this year. Fourteen cars of a 100-unit train piled up last Jan. 7 after a wheel broke.