Railway Investigation R16D0092

Crossing accident

The occurrence

On 20 September 2016, a VIA Rail passenger train proceeding south on the Canadian National Railway Joliette Subdivision, was struck by a tractor trailer (the truck) loaded with sand at the public crossing located at mile 75.34 in Sainte-Ursule, Quebec. The truck was destroyed and the train sustained damage on its entire length. The fuel tanks of the locomotives VIA 6443 and VIA 6413 were punctured, spilling fuel along the railway. The car VIA 8145 derailed and about 300 feet of rail were damaged. Two passengers and the truck driver suffered minor injuries.

Map of the area


Photo of Ian Perkins

Ian Perkins began his railway career as a conductor at Canadian Pacific (CP). In 2009, he completed the locomotive engineer training program and in 2011 began working as a rules instructor. As a rules instructor, he trained and recertified both conductors and locomotive engineers. After working for nearly 10 years at CP, he joined the TSB as a senior regional investigator for Rail and Pipeline in the Quebec Region. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Concordia University and a certificate in Transportation Logistics from McGill University.

Transportation Safety Board investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation:

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.



Railway Investigation Report R16D0092
Crossing collision
VIA Rail Canada Inc.
Passenger train No. 600
Mile 75.34, Canadian National Railway Company
Joliette Subdivision
Sainte-Ursule, Quebec
20 September 2016

Safety communications


Rail Safety Advisory Letter 10/17 - Assessment of the safety impact of road accidents in the vicinity of railway crossings

Media materials

News releases


Obstructed view of crossing warning system among factors that led to 2016 crossing collision in Sainte-Ursule, Quebec
Read the news release

Deployment notices


TSB has deployed a team of investigators to a railway crossing collision in Sainte-Ursule, Quebec
Read the deployment notice