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Rail transportation safety investigation R19V0002

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 19 July 2023.

Table of contents

Main-track train derailment

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Freight train 401-02
Mile 128.9, Laggan Subdivision
Partridge, British Columbia

View final report

The occurrence

On , at approximately 1015 Mountain Standard Time, Canadian Pacific Railway Company freight train 401-02 was proceeding westward on the Laggan Subdivision when 15 empty cars derailed in the Upper Spiral Tunnel at Mile 128.9, near Partridge, British Columbia. There was no fire, and no dangerous goods were involved in the derailment. No one was injured.

Media materials

News release


Undesired release of air brakes led to 2019 freight train derailment in the Upper Spiral Tunnel, British Columbia
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to the site of a train derailment near Field, British Columbia

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of a Canadian Pacific train derailment near Field, British Columbia. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Robert LeBlanc

Robert LeBlanc is a Regional Senior Investigator working with the TSB Rail and Pipeline Investigations Branch in Edmonton, Alberta. Since joining the TSB in 2018, Robert has been part of several TSB investigation teams extensively involved in several high-profile rail occurrences. He brings to the TSB over 33 years of experience at CN in all technical aspects of locomotive and freight train operations.

Mr. LeBlanc’s main responsibilities at CN grew to include air brakes and train handling, train dynamics, train marshalling, mountain grade operations, risk analysis, as well as derailment investigation, analysis, cause finding, and prevention. He was also a driving force at CN behind the introduction and implementation of new technology, such as distributed power (DP) operations, alternating current (AC) traction locomotives, and wireless real-time monitoring and data retrieval from locomotives working on trains, including the modernization of operating rules, standards and best practices related to embedding these technologies.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB 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 air, marine, pipeline, and rail 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.