Track failure led to train derailment in northern B.C.: safety board

No one was hurt when 34 cars carrying wood pellets left the tracks

A train derailment near Kitwanga, B.C., between Smithers and Terrace, is shown in this January 2020 handout photo. The Transportation Safety Board says a track failure contributed to the derailment of a freight train in northern British Columbia in January. The Canadian National Railway Co. train was travelling between Smithers and Terrace when 34 rail cars carrying wood pellets derailed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Transportation Safety Board of Canada

A train derailment near Kitwanga, B.C., between Smithers and Terrace, is shown in this January 2020 handout photo. The Transportation Safety Board says a track failure contributed to the derailment of a freight train in northern British Columbia in January. The Canadian National Railway Co. train was travelling between Smithers and Terrace when 34 rail cars carrying wood pellets derailed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The Transportation Safety Board says a track failure contributed to the derailment of a freight train in northern British Columbia in January.

No one was hurt when 34 cars carrying wood pellets on the Canadian National Railway Co. train left the tracks between the communities of Smithers and Terrace.

The board’s report on the incident says video and audio evidence from the train strongly suggests a sudden track failure occurred.

The report says testing on the same stretch of tracks in July and September 2019 showed the number of “deviations” in the width between the tracks had increased along that section.

The agency says the weight and number of railcars travelling on the route sped up the deterioration of the track before the derailment.

CN Rail says in a statement it is reviewing the board’s report but has already increased and enhanced its automated track inspection program to detect and improve track conditions.

“We remain committed to working with regulators to embed the use of technology to improve inspections, which reduces, and ultimately prevents incidents like this derailment from occurring.”

The company says safety is a core value at CN and in 2020, it has invested over $445 million in B.C. to expand and strengthen its network.

CN says it has replaced more than 25,000 metres of rail and changed over 32,500 rail ties, strengthening its infrastructure.

The safety board noted in its report that the incident was the third such derailment in the area after 27 coal cars derailed in January 2018 and 52 empty cars derailed in December 2017.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Smithersterrace

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A fire destroyed a commercial building on Idlemore Road early Tuesday. The fire is under investigation. (Kenn Mount photo)
UPDATE: Early morning fire destroys new Sooke distillery

Firefighters still investigating cause of Island Shiners Distillery blaze early Tuesday

Langford Fire Rescue (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford looks to strike out on its own for emergency fire dispatch services

Mayor Stew Young says the city is large enough to negotiate solo

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

Oak Bay Police Department briefs for May 3 to 9. (Black Press Media file photo)
Copper wire stolen after Oak Bay construction site targeted twice by thieves

Cop briefs include pair of impounded cars, swiped back medication

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Time for a change: Salmon Arm’s ‘corporate’ city flag is on the way out

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Ottawa, Friday, April 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
75% of Canadians need 1st vaccine dose to have more normal summer: Trudeau

The country is on track to hit a major milestone on the road to COVID-19 herd immunity Tuesday, with 40% vaccinated with a 1st dose

A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)
Fewer dead bears, more fines: Advocates call for B.C. conservation officer reform

B.C. Bear Alliance wants body to see cameras on conservation officers after more than 600 black bears were killed this past year

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Island community

Crofton residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Most Read