Radio-Canada’s Enquête program obtained a copy of the TSB’s initial report. It found that one reason — identified by investigators in the initial report as a contributing factor in the crash — is not given the same importance in the final version.
In the initial report. Transportation Safety Board investigators were of the opinion that the fact the train didn't have a 2-person crew contributed to the accident.
Train engineer Tom Harding was working alone that night. Unsealed documents revealed that handbrakes were insufficiently applied to the 79-railcar train.
An expert in the field, who asked to remain anonymous, told Radio-Canada that studies show a two-person crew is safer.
“With two people, you double the chances that enough hand brakes and other safety measures are applied,” he said.
TSB not certain one-man crew was a contributing factor
When the TSB’s final report came out, it listed 18 factors that led to the deadly crash — including a weak safety culture at the MM&A, and a lack of oversight from the government agency.
The issue of the one-man crew was reduced to a risk factor — not a contributing factor — in the derailment.
“We could not conclude with certainty whether, yes or no, that would have changed the results that night, said TSB President Kathy Fox.
Although the question of one-man crews was not prominent in the TSB’s final report released last August, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced banning one-man crews on trains that are carrying dangerous goods for safety reasons.
“We've established a two-person minimum for locomotive crews,” Raitt said.