An investigation has been launched to determine what caused seven cars on a 165-car Canadian National Railway freight train to jump the tracks south of Alix Friday morning.
Canadian National Railway Co. spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said the derailment occurred on a southbound train around 9:45 a.m. about 10 km south of Alix in an isolated rural area. The cars were carrying intermodal containers full of electronics and paint. There were no hazardous materials on board. No crew members or members of the public were injured nor was an evacuation necessary.
Crews worked throughout Friday to clean up the mess. The track re-opened about 4:45 a.m. on Saturday.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada and CNR are conducting an investigation to determine what went wrong. Paquin said the investigation could take anywhere from a few months to a year.
“It’s very hard to determine how long this one could take in particular,” said Paquin.
The train was about 3,350 metres long and weighed roughly 11,000 tonnes. Three locomotives were at the head of the train. Investigators will try to determine whether the length or weight of the train played a role in the incident.
In January, 16 cars — five containing anhydrous ammonia — left the tracks on a 96-car Canadian Pacific Railway freight train a couple kilometres north of Innisfail, directly in front of the Niobe grain elevator.
There was no danger to the public or any leaks. Hwy 2A north of Innisfail was forced to close for a day and a half near the accident site. The incident is still under investigation.
Kevin Hrysak, a CPR spokesperson, said unfortunately these investigations can take up to a year because they are unique.
“You want to make sure you take all the proper precautions in the investigation for any related facts,” he said. “We do take this very seriously. We want to make sure the determination comes in with accurate information.”
- copyright Red Deer Advocate