TSB calls for update to railway employee training, qualification rules

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TORONTO — Canada’s transportation safety watchdog is urging the federal government to modernize training and qualification rules for railway employees to keep up with evolving practices.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says it has been pushing Transport Canada to update its Railway Employee Qualification Standards Regulations since 2003, but is renewing the call after completing an investigation into a runaway train incident near Toronto in 2016.

A crew was moving a train consisting of two locomotives and 74 cars out of a rail yard when the train picked up speed and travelled nearly five kilometres before coming to a stop.

Despite the fact that the incident did not cause any injuries or damage, the board says it highlights gaps in training and qualifications for some staff.

The board says training regulations have not kept pace with industry practices and technology, and are now in need of an overhaul.

Transport Canada did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The Canadian Press