Just months before the fatal Lac-Megantic train disaster, a Transport Canada report raised concerns that single-person train operations could be at risk from operators’ fatigue, sleep patterns and decision-making ability.
The Transport Canada guidelines, released in May 2013, were designed to help staff evaluate risk assessments filed by rail companies with single-operator run trains.
The guidelines include "human factors" such as amount of sleep, health, age, lifestyle and workload demands, as well as best practice
s for managing them, according to records obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
On July 6 last year, a 72-car train parked for the night came loose and rolled into the town of Lac-Megantic, Que., creating a fireball that killed 47 people, destroyed buildings and contaminated waterways. The now-defunct Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. and three employees of the company - including the train's sole operator - face charges of criminal negligence causing death.