A warning was issued this Thursday by the Transportation Saftey Board after two VIA rail trains have been damaged by debris in the last month. Both trains were hit by debris that was deliberately left between the tracks which caused massive damage to both trains. While no injuries were recorded, these incidents caused massive travel delays for those who were affected.
The warning was issued a week after a VIA train that was traveling from Halifax to Montreal got hit with debris which caused a punctured fuel tank and shattered windows throughout the train.
After an investigation, it was determined that the train was damaged by material that had been left on the tracks in preparation for construction work that was to be done in that area the day after.
A shockingly similar incident occurred in Ontario last month when a VIA train was travelling between Toronto and Ottawa on a Saturday afternoon.
The train had to be evacuated after it struck debris which caused the same shattered windows and fuel leakage as the incident from the Halifax train.
All passengers on board the shattered train carts were transferred to other train carts on the same train. They were forced to stay on the train until it started to move again six hours after it first struck the debris.
One passenger even told CBC that some of the trains were left without heating or functioning toilets during the time that they were stranded on board.
Since these two incidents, the TSB is sending a warning to CN and VIA to conduct 'risk assessments' in order to ensure that the paths that are being taken by their trains are safe and free of debris.
TSB is also recommended that VIA should be able to ensure that the areas in which crews are preparing for updates on the rail will not pose a threat to the passengers, as it has in the past month.
Source: CBC News