Mounties have launched a criminal investigation into CP Rail for a train derailment near Field that left three men dead in 2019.
The derailment occurred at approximately 1 a.m. MST on Feb. 4, 2019. Three men from Calgary died: conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer.
The train was en-route to Vancouver when it came to a stop at the Spiral Tunnels, waiting for clearance of no oncoming trains to proceed so the emergency brakes were deployed.
TSB investigators believe the train was stopped for about three hours before it began to “move on its own,” exceeding speed limits as it moved faster down the steep terrain.
In total, 99 of the train’s 112 cars left the tracks as it came barrelling down the Spiral Tunnels out of control.
The criminal probe by Mounties comes after officers completed a preliminary review into the incident, which involved consultation with Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada.
The CP Police are aware of the ongoing RCMP investigation.
“We will not speculate as to potential charges or the scope or breadth of the investigation, we will allow the evidence to lead us, as always,” said Staff-Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, senior media relations officer for the RCMP.
In April 2020, the TSB said its investigation confirmed that winter conditions and cold temperatures caused the train’s air brakes to lose pressure and roll down Field Hill uncontrollably.
The investigation called into question the efficacy of the No. 1 brake test.
A review of CP Rail’s hazard notifications revealed multiple instances of crews controlling speed descending the Field Hill in winter operating conditions.
“CP will cooperate with the RCMP in its investigation into the Feb. 4, 2019 derailment near Field, B.C,” read a statement from CP.
“From the beginning, CP has stated that it is available and willing to discuss relevant matters with the RCMP, the Transportation Safety Board and all other agencies involved.”
As the matter is under investigation, CP has no further comment.