The Transportation Safety Board is investigating another case of a runaway railway car rolling through a Saskatchewan city.
The board said on March 27 an empty Canadian Pacific Railway hopper car rolled through a rail yard in Saskatoon and across two public level crossings in the city before coming to a stop.
“During switching by Canadian Pacific employees in the Sutherland Yard, a tail-end rail car separated from the train and rolled uncontrolled through the yard,” the TSB said in a statement on the investigation Monday.
Canadian Pacific confirmed the car rolled at a low speed across the Central Avenue and 115 Avenue crossings around 3 a.m. on March 27.
CP said both crossing warning systems turned on automatically.
The rail company’s initial investigation found the cause of the runaway car was human error.
The Saskatoon Fire Department said it was notified shortly after the incident took place.
“The City of Saskatoon has a rail working group with transportation, the fire department and the rail companies,” said Saskatoon fire chief Morgan Hackl.
“We have a good relationship with CP and CN, and we’re continuing to address safety concerns with the rail companies.”
Mayor Don Atchison continues to push for the rail yard to be relocated outside the city for the safety of residents. Although the train car was empty, Atchison says the next one might not be.
“There are a tremendous amount of dangerous goods that roll through the city. Incidents like this can occur, regardless what you’re doing,” Atchison said.
The city is considering funding a study to determine the cost of moving the rail yards. Atchison supports a study, saying they can’t move forward before knowing the cost.
The cost of the study could be as much as $400,000.
The safety board is also investigating a runaway rail car full of asphalt that rolled about four kilometres through Regina on March 1 from the Co-op refinery complex.
That rail car, which was being handled by staff from Cando Rail, crossed a number of streets before coming to rest near a Regina neighbourhood.
No one was hurt in either case.
Cando Rail has said an air brake on the Regina car was set, but suddenly released.