Record-setting flooding in British Columbia has resulted in the closure of rail tracks carrying goods in and out of Canada’s busiest port, with at least one train derailed on a partially washed-out line.
Both CN Rail and CP Rail say that their rail networks in BC’s Lower Mainland have been affected by dramatic flooding, although the extent of the damage is not yet known.
A spokesperson for CN Rail confirmed to businesshala News that its network has experienced several mudslides and washouts near Yale, B.C., and that one of its trains was partially derailed in an area of the province, including the recent About 300 mm of rain has fallen in days.
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According to CN, the train partially derailed on the line owned by CP.
“No one was injured, there was a fire or spill, or dangerous goods were involved,” CN said, adding that it has not yet been able to assess the damage or begin repairs due to the conditions.
“The CN crew is ready to move safely to the affected sites, but await conditions for stabilization to begin work. CN will continue to monitor the affected sites and do so once it is deemed safe to do so. Will start construction efforts.”
Impact on ‘Railway’s Life Blood’
The CP confirmed that a portion of one of his lines was out in the area.
“CP Hope is experiencing a track outage north of BC, affecting rail service in the area,” the rail carrier told businesshala News in an emailed statement.
The province’s transportation ministry shared photos on Twitter of other sections of a rail line near Lytton, BC, that appear to be damaged.
A look at a flyover of # BCHY1 At Tank Hill near Lytton and Nicomane.
On a conference call with investment analysts Tuesday morning, CP’s executive vice president John Brooks called that part of Canada’s rail network “the life blood of rail.”
“I know the team was active this morning and working with our customers to find alternative markets, or directions to send” [rail cars],” he said, adding that the company was working to divert some of the affected traffic toward Portland, Ore.
“It is too early to tell what the final effects are [but] We’ll get that mainline open as soon as we can and we’ll be ready … as an operating team to get that consignment back as quickly as we can.”
Track outages are on a section of the main rail line that supplies the Port of Vancouver. This is the second time this year that the province’s rail system has been hit by natural disasters, as wildfires around Lytton this summer caused both companies to temporarily partially shut down their networks.
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