Interchange - Fall 2013 - (Page 24)
Railways Support TSB Call
for In-Cab Video and Voice
if Integrated into SMS
By Alex Binkley
While on the record as supporting recent recommendations made by the Transportation
Safety Board of Canada (TSB) regarding the
installation of in-cab video cameras and voice
recorders in all mainline controlling locomotives
in Canada, the rail sector is not totally on board
Canada's railways say the suggested safety
improvement would be of no benefit to them
if they cannot be integrated into existing
railway safety management systems to prevent
accidents, says Michael Bourque, president of the
Railway Association of Canada.
The recommendation aims to provide clarity
into what happens in the event of an accident.
It was put forward in a recent report from the
TSB which looked into a 2012 VIA Rail crash in
Burlington, Ont. that killed three crew members.
Bourque says that under federal law, only TSB
officials would have access to the recording. Even
though the railways would pay to install and
maintain the recorders, they "wouldn't have any
control over the systems."
"We're looking for better ways to deal
with the human element in an accident," says
Interchange | Fall / Automne 2013
Bourque. "We want to see if there is a pattern or
condition that leads to accidents."
"What's more, the safety record of Canadian
railways compares favourably to their
counterparts elsewhere," he says. "We have a
tremendous safety record."
Canada's railways maintained a rate of 2.4
total accidents per billion gross ton miles of
freight moved in 2011, the lowest rate in a
decade. Accidents at level crossings and railrelated trespasser deaths have also declined
There are more than 1,000 train starts a day
and almost every one reaches its destination
without an accident or incident.
Days before the VIA report was made public,
former Transport Minister Denis Lebel released
a study by the Advisory Council on Rail Safety's
Working Group on Locomotive Voice and Video
Recorders (LVRs) which called for the voluntary
installation of voice/video recording devices
on locomotives by railway companies. VIA has
already agreed to install the devices.
In a statement, Lebel said the government
"supports the voluntary use of voice recorders
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Interchange - Fall 2013
Railway Legislation Passes, Regulations to Follow
Railways Support TSB Call for In-Cab Video and Voice if Integrated into SMS
A Fresh Look for GO Transit
Trespassing Seen as Biggest Threat to Rail Safety
Mecfor Innovates with UTV and Creates North American Demand
CN Recognized for Climate Change Transparency with CDP Leadership Position
CN a Transportation Industry Sustainability Leader
GO Transit Receives Outstanding Achievement Award
Update on Railways in Canada
A & B Rail Services
Index to Advertisers
Interchange - Fall 2013