Rail safety is in jeopardy in Canada.
At least four people are dead and more than 200 injured after a train derailed near Thunder Bay, Ont., in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The accident is believed to be the deadliest train derailments in Canada’s history.
Can the railway network survive the tragedy?
A report published in the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, entitled “Can the Railway Network Survive the Train Disaster?” examined the response to derailments.
It found that despite the ongoing risks of derailments, railways are able to survive them.
“A number of factors contribute to the success of railway infrastructure, including the level of training and the skill of operators and maintenance staff,” the report states.
“Railway infrastructure is resilient to train derailings because it is built to withstand major derailments that could have catastrophic consequences, including major structural damage.”
In the case of Thunder Bay’s derailment, the report noted that the “train was travelling at speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph) at the time of impact and sustained damage to the front and rear of the locomotive.”
The incident occurred at the Thunder Bay Expressway.
According to the Toronto Star, the expressway was closed from Highway 400 to Highway 895 for a short period of time.
It is unclear how long the roadway remained closed.
At the time, Transport Canada confirmed that a fire was in progress on Highway 885 near the derailment site.
Transport Canada said it would monitor the situation and provide updates on the status of the highway.