Posted 09 July 2013 - 10:32 AM
There is some posting on misc.transport.rail.americas Usenet group from someone in Canada, that a series of events each OK in and of itself, led to the train losing its brakes. According to that set of postings here is what happened....
1. The Engineer parked the train, shut down three of the four units, and kept one unit on to supply brake air to keep the train stationary, and went off to a hotel nearby.
2. The engine caught fire.
3. The fire department came to put the fire out and in the process shut off the engine.
4. Unfortunately they neither tried to contact the railroad nor tried to find the Engineer apparently, and left.
5. The residual brake air bled out eventually releasing the brakes which set the train rolling.
6. The rest we have seen pictures of.
Don't know the truth or falsehood of this sequence, but this is what is being stated on the internet. As usual we will know the real story only after Transport Canada finishes its inquiry into the incident.