Train derails in Barwick

Sam Odrowski

A Canadian National train traveling west derailed at the Barwick crossing on Saturday evening where several rail cars tipped off the tracks.

A total of five freight cars derailed. No one was injured during the incident.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.

The Alberton, Chapple, Emo, and La Vallee Fire and Emergency Service arrived shortly after the incident took place at approximately 5:15 p.m. to reopen the temporarily closed Highway 11/71.

There is no immediate public risk and the crews cleared the scene at approximately 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

Although, the cleanup is expected to take a total of 10 days.

“Our staff on the fire[fighting] side will be out there regularly, monitoring making sure contractors and things are on track and they get cleaned up in a timely manner,” said Alberton, Chapple, Emo, and La Vallee Fire and Emergency Service Fire Chief Josh Colling.

The cleanup efforts are expected to take 10 days because a temporary set of tracks must be built to send equipment to the site of the derailment to remove the damaged vessels.

“By taking that much time, it makes sure things happen safely and in a proper manner,” Chief Colling noted.

There were no leaks from any of the rail cars, so the focus of the cleanup will be on removing debris, repairing the tracks and releveling the affected area.

Chief Colling said the public should slow down and proceed with caution around the area that the train derailed as there are many transports, contractors, and heavy equipment operators working in the area to clean-up the location.

“The traffic impact will likely be a little affected because they’re working around the one track crossing in particular but traffic can still get right around there with a 30 second detour,” he noted.
CN train traffic has not been affected as there are two sets of tracks in that area that trains have continued to travel through.

Not long after the incident, rail traffic resumed.

Moving forward, Chief Colling will be debriefing with his team as well as meeting with allied agency responders to discuss the incident and see if there’s any aspects of their response that can be improved.

The last train derailment in the district also happened near Barwick in the summer of 2015.

Up to 45 thousand litres of petroleum distillates spilled out of the damaged carriages and Barwick residents had to evacuate the town.