Track flaw caused Wisconsin oil train derailment, CP says

A flaw in the track caused a Canadian Pacific Railway train to derail the afternoon of Nov. 8 near Watertown, Wis., and spill a small amount of crude oil, the railroad said (OGJ Online, Nov. 9, 2015). The flaw was found as it conducted an investigation with the Federal Railroad Administration, it indicated.

CP said its track inspection process uses rail flaw detector cars with ultrasonic technology to detect defects that are not visible to the human eye. “This technology last passed over the site in late September, and nothing was found,” it said. “We are required to do this three times per year, and we perform it six times annually.”

Regulations also require that the track be inspected visually twice each week, it noted. CP said it carries out such inspections three times during that period. “The signaling system in effect on our main line across Wisconsin is capable of catching many types of broken rail, and will display a red signal to trains in this case,” it said.

Contact Nick Snow at

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