Cause of train derailment still unknown

Sewer forcemain work is not to blame for 10 rail cars carrying coal to jump the CN tracks–with eight tipping over–between Christie and Victoria Avenues here late Saturday morning, the general contractor on the Fifth Street project said yesterday.
Larry Armstrong noted consultants brought in by CN engineers dug at the site around 1:30 p.m. Monday and determined the contracted work in that area did not contribute to the derailment.
“They found no problem at all with the work we did there,” Armstrong stressed, adding he was present when the backhoe dug to check out the forcemain.
“It’s got nothing to do with Armstrong or the Town of Fort Frances.”
Armstrong noted the work under the rail bed there was done back in May, and it was just a coincidence the collapse in the track occurred in that area.
“[CN was] pointing fingers at us,” Armstrong charged, adding he was hoping to get a retraction on published statements implicating the forcemain was to blame for the derailment.
“It casts a shadow on your integrity,” he said.
CN could not be reached to comment on that.
But with that possibility now ruled out, CN isn’t saying what caused the derailment, which injured no one but shut down the track here for some 13 hours.
Preliminary indications showed track failure was caused by the road bed under the track, Parker Hogan, manager of public affairs and community relations with CN in Edmonton, had said Monday.
“At this time, we’re still looking into it,” he added.
Crews and equipment were on the scene by 2 p.m. Saturday. Hogan said part of the main track had been repaired, and he expected the Fort Frances extension to be repaired by the end of the week.
He said CN didn’t normally reveal the costs of a cleanup.
As of yet, no one was seeking compensation as a result of the derailment, he added.
On the “small/medium/large” scale of derailments, Hogan classified this as a “medium” incident.
The derailed cars were carrying some 800,000 pounds of coal bound for Thunder Bay.