By Andru McCracken
A CN train carrying potash derailed December 26 submerging one car and partially submerging another in Moose Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park. Remediate work at the site continued at the time of writing January 6th.
Alexandre Boulé, a spokesperson for CN said the clean up should be completed soon.
“Government authorities confirmed that only a small amount of potash spilled into the lake and the total amount of potash that spilled will be determined at the end of the process,” said Boulé.
He said the company would revegetate the area in the spring.
According to Boulé the cause of the derailment is still under investigation.
“CN would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused,” he said.
Moose Lake is part of the headwaters of the Fraser River and located in Mt. Robson Provincial Park.
This is a very public derailment for CN, as it occurred just meters off the busy Yellowhead Highway 16. Holiday travellers slowed and snapped videos of the train carnage which made the news over the holidays from Vancouver to Toronto.
In all, 26 rail cars derailed, many losing their load of potash, a light reddish material strewn across the tracks and into the waters of Moose Lake below.
According to a recent Canadian Press report, Canadian National Railway Company raked in the highest quarterly revenues in its 99-year history last September: $3.69 billion.
Transport Canada say they are aware of the derailment near Moose Lake.
“We are following up with the CN Rail to verify compliance with rail safety regulations,” said Simon Rivet, Senior Advisor, Media Relations for Transport Canada.
“Under the Railway Safety Act, railway companies are responsible for the safety of their rail line infrastructure, railway equipment and operations. Transport Canada’s role is to monitor railway companies for compliance through audits and inspections.”
Rivet said Transport Canada is taking ‘ongoing and significant’ action to increase safety on the railway.
“These measures include more stringent requirements for securing unattended railway equipment, improved regulations regarding a company’s safety management systems, regulations prescribing fines for contraventions to the Railway Safety Act, improved tank car standards, emergency response plans, and a new liability and compensation regime for federally regulated railways.”