Railway accidents up 7% in 2018, but fewer deaths: TSB report

17 main-track derailments and 62 on secondary tracks involving five or fewer cars

A train derailment is shown near Field, B.C., Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says the number of railway accidents increased by seven per cent last year including those involving dangerous goods, but there were fewer fatalities.

There were 1,170 accidents, up from 1,091 in 2017 and above the five-year average of 1,035, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday.

READ MORE: Train that derailed and killed three near Field, B.C., ‘just started moving on its own’

Fatalities decreased to 57 from 76 a year earlier, but the number of serious injuries rose to 91 from 65 primarily due to events at crossings.

Accidents involving dangerous goods increased nine per cent to 125 from 115, with six resulting in the release of dangerous materials.

There were 17 main-track derailments and 62 on secondary tracks involving five or fewer cars, up from 10 and 54 respectively in 2017. The increased derailments came amid a 5.6-per-cent increase in gross ton miles traffic.

“All said, we believe that the statistics are encouraging in many important areas, thereby suggesting that the railroads are operating at a high level of safety,” analyst Walter Spracklin of RBC Capital Markets wrote in a research note.

The government report also said the number of aviation accidents decreased 16 per cent to 201 from 240. There was also an eight per cent dip in incidents, but the 860 reported was higher than the 797 five-year average.

The number of fatalities in airplanes, helicopters and ultralight aircraft was stable at 23. There were no deaths involving foreign-registered aircraft.

Marine transportation accidents increased slightly to 283 while total number of incidents were up six per cent to 936.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rock slide forces rural Keremeos residents to leave their homes

Witness describes boulders bigger than her car

Okanagan College to develop wellness strategy for drug use

The Kelowna campus has 28 employees trained in the use of naloxone.

Ranch’s plan to use processed human waste fertilizer prompts concern in Turtle Valley

Turtle Valley residents invited to hear facts around biosolids

Downed powerline delaying Highway 1 traffic

Traffic heading west from Salmon Arm slowed at Squilax-Anglemont bridge

Changes sought to dog ban on foreshore

Time period of prohibition asked to be moved ahead for nesting birds

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

UPDATE: Destructive blaze in West Kelowna

A unit of a condo complex is on fire in West Kelowna

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Pet Planet picks up Okanagan’s cannabis for pets

True Leaf Medicine International expands retail distribution to 3,500 stores worldwide

AquaVan comes to Okanagan Science Centre

200-litre mobile touch tank allows you to get up-close with marine invertebrates

Army of support behind Black Press saleswoman battling cancer

GoFundMe helps empower Sue Folliott’s fight

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

No joke: Kelowna’s first zero-waste grocery store to open April 1

Farm Bound Zero Waste has announced its opening date

Most Read