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VIDEO: Massive windstorm causes two Alta. trains to derail

Wainwright, Alta. — Two trains in Alberta derailed during the wind storm that clobbered much of the Prairies Tuesday, resulting in the closure of one of main line and putting a stop to some grain movement.

CN crews were cleaning up two wrecks Wednesday when winds in excess of 100 km/h on Tuesday evening derailed one 67-car train near Huxley and one 13-car train at the Fabyan Trestle Bridge west of Wainwright.

Crews in Huxley repaired the damaged line, which runs between Edmonton and Calgary, so rail traffic could resume. They were still on scene removing the cars.

However, crews are beginning to repair the trestle bridge near Wainwright, where some cars plummeted nearly 60 metres.

This line is currently closed from Edmonton to Saskatoon, though some trains are being re-routed to CN’s east-west Prairie North Line.

CN spokesperson Patrick Waldron said in an email that the cleanup of the Wainwright wreck is expected to continue into the coming days.

He couldn’t say when CN will re-open the line, or what the trains were hauling.

“There were no injuries and no spills or leaks of any dangerous goods,” Waldron said, noting there were also no spills of dangerous materials or injuries regarding the derailment in Huxley.

However, the closure of the line has put some grain elevator operations on hold.

Chris Fralic, director of operations with Providence Grain Solutions out of Viking, Alta., said he won’t be receiving cars Thursday as originally planned.

“It’s concerning to me because I have more customers who were expecting to haul in grain after we loaded these,” Fralic said. “But this is one of those situations where it’s no one’s fault.”

He said he doesn’t expect to lose too much, because Providence has made arrangements with farmers to haul in once it has space open.

“We try to work with them. They may be able to take it to another station that might have room,” he said. “But I think a lot of us are in the same boat right now.”

Cargill spokesperson Connie Tamoto said in an email that its operators are not affected by this line closure.

The Western Producer will update this story when more information is made available.

Contact jeremy.simes@producer.com

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