Two trains derail in Alberta during windstorm

Wainwright, Alta. — During the wind storm that clobbered much of the Prairies Oct. 17 two trains in Alberta derailed, closing one main line and halting some grain movement.

CN crews cleaned up two wrecks after winds in excess of 100 km/h in the area. One 67-car train derailed near Huxley and one 13-car train derailed at the Fabyan Trestle Bridge west of Wainwright.

Crews in Huxley repaired the damaged line, which runs between Edmonton and Calgary, restoring rail traffic.

And crews repaired the trestle bridge near Wainwright, where some cars plummeted nearly 60 metres.

This rail line was closed from Edmonton to Saskatoon, and some trains were re-routed to CN’s east-west Prairie North Line. The line opened on Saturday, Oct. 21.

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

Closure of the line temporarily put some grain elevator operations on hold.

Immediately after the derailment, Chris Fralic, director of operations with Providence Grain Solutions out of Viking, Alta., said he wouldn’t be receiving cars Oct. 19 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 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. Cargill spokesperson Connie Tamoto said in an email that its operators were not affected by this line closure.

About the author


Stories from our other publications