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British Columbia’s Environment Ministry confirmed that 30 to 40 grain hoppers derailed.
A Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union representative told The Canadian Press the crew had just taken over the train east of Field, B.C. He said two workers’ bodies were found near the locomotive, which landed in the Kicking Horse River, and the third was still in the cab.
There was no immediate word of fuel or other contaminants entering the water. CP said there was no threat to public safety, and there were no dangerous goods involved.
“It is with great sadness that CP reports that three crew members on board were fatally injured in the incident. Our condolences and prayers go out to their families, friends and colleagues,” CP said in a statement. “A full investigation will take place to determine the cause of this incident.”
The Canadian TSB (Transportation Safety Board) is on the scene, conducting an investigation. TSB spokesperson Eric Collard said the wreck site is remote, with rail-only access. TSB has not yet released any further information, but according to a report in the Calgary Herald, the train was traveling far above the allowable speed:
“One CP Rail employee — who asked not to be named as he was not permitted to speak on the matter publicly — said the speed limit heading into the tunnels is a maximum of about 20 mph. He said the final radio dispatch from the train as it was heading into the Upper Spiral Tunnel reported a speed of about 47 mph. ‘That’s one of the steepest grades on CP, coming down from the top of the hill,’ said the employee. ‘There’s actually instructions in our timetable about how to come down that hill, like where you should be setting the brakes here and here. It’s very specific and if you do one wrong move, you’re done for.’ The employee said that protocol dictates an emergency brake be applied if a train reaches 3 mph over the limit on that stretch of track, suggesting that cold weather or a mechanical failure may have been a factor. A second CP Rail source confirmed the train’s speed when exiting the tunnel was well beyond the mandated limits. [Teamsters Canada Rail Conference] representative Greg Edwards said he doesn’t know if frigid temperatures played a role in the crash: ‘Cold isn’t good for train brakes and things, but we’ve been operating in the winter for years and years and years.’”
Courtesy the Calgary Herald.
Field is about 50 miles west of Banff, along the Trans-Canada Highway. Sixteen cars of a CP train derailed on Jan. 3 in the same area. No one was hurt in that derailment.
The post CP grain train derailment claims three appeared first on Railway Age.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
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