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Rail transportation safety investigation R19T0147

Updated in May 2021 : This investigation is in the report phase.

Table of contents

Employee fatality

Canadian National
MacMillan Yard
Toronto, Ontario

The occurrence

On , a Canadian National (CN) yard assignment, operated remotely with a locomotive remote control system (Beltpack), was pulling a cut of cars on the west pullback track at MacMillan yard in Toronto. Eight empty autorack cars derailed. Some of the cars fell onto their side and fatally injured a CN employee who had been operating the assignment while riding on the side of an autorack. No dangerous goods were involved. The TSB is investigating.


Media materials

Deployment notice

2019-08-15

TSB deploys a team of investigators to a railway accident at MacMillan Yard in Toronto, Ontario

Richmond Hill, Ontario, 15 August 2019 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of a Canadian National railway accident at MacMillan Yard in Toronto, Ontario. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Robert Bruder

Robert Bruder joined the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) in September 2013 as a Regional Senior Investigator for Rail and Pipeline at the Toronto office. Mr. Bruder has an extensive background in railway operations and risk management garnered over a 36-year career with the Canadian National (CN). He managed CN’s Risk Management Department for Eastern Canada from 2004 to 2013, and was extensively involved in the development and implementation of CN’s safety management system, accident/injury investigation, analysis and cause-finding processes, as well as derailment emergency response and mitigation.


Class of investigation

This is a class 2 investigation. These investigations are complex and involve several safety issues requiring in-depth analysis. Class 2 investigations, which frequently result in recommendations, are generally completed within 600 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.