Sunday, February 9, 2014

CN Rail line Closed west of Vanderhoof after collision

Two trains on the CN line from Prince George to Prince Rupert collided on Saturday afternoon, shutting down the east - west link through the evening and now into Sunday. Providing for shipment delays across Northern BC and into the Port of Prince Rupert.

According to the Prince George news portal Opinion 250 the incident involved two trains travelling in the same direction, colliding in a rear end collision fashion. The result of the collision, sending one locomotive and eight inter-modal cars off the tracks, but remaining upright.

No injuries were reported in the incident and no dangerous cargo was involved in the Saturday afternoon collision. CN crews are curretnly working at the site to clear the line.

Concerns over rail safety were one of the sticking points in recent negotiations between the Teamsters Rail Conference Canada and CN, a labour dispute that once again threatened to disrupt rail service across Canada. Those negotiations however, were successfully resolved, with the latest agreement between the two sides now heading for another ratification vote.

The latest incident on the railroad however, may provide for more fuel for discussion on the topic of the potential  transport of crude oil by rail

Communities across the Northwest have also been keeping an eye on the prospect of shipments of oil by rail, a topic which has become more frequent of late, as the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project goes through its process and ongoing debate.

Incidents such as Saturday's, no doubt weigh on the minds of officials and residents on communities that have the railway running through their boundaries, and how such proposed shipments of oil by rail may impact on them.

As for the Vanderhoof event, CN has not provided an update as to the cause of the Saturday incident to its website or twitter feed, nor  any timeline as to when the line will reopen to rail traffic.

The media reports on the Saturday incident can be found below.

Opinion 250-- CN Rail Line remains Closed after Train "Rear Ender"
Opinion 250-- CN Rail Line Closed by Collision near Vanderhoof
HQ Prince George-- CN tracks near Vanderhoof closed after derailment

Update: CN reopened the line to rail traffic on Sunday afternoon

Opinion 250-- CN Rail Line Re-opened

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