Train Derails Over Bridge Near Edmonton, Alberta |
January 22nd 2012
train derailment is third rail incident in past week
Alta. - More than a dozen rail cars are lying
wrecked on a valley floor after plunging off a
bridge in northern Alberta, east of Edmonton.
CN spokesperson Julie Senecal said the cars were all
carrying grain and were part of a train that was
heading west from Winnipeg to Edmonton on Saturday
Senecal said 31 cars left the tracks about 30
kilometres from Wainwright near the community of
Fabyan, and 17 fell off the bridge.
"There were no injuries and there are no
environmental issues," Senecal said.
According to the town of Wainwright's website, the
bridge is almost 60 metres high and 845 metres long.
The website says it is Canada's second-longest
trestle, with the longest being further south in
Alberta at Lethbridge.
George Duffy, who lives near the bridge, said the
cars didn't fall from the highest part of the
bridge. But he said it was still a "very high" spot
and that the cars are so badly damaged they're
"They're definitely beat up. By looking at them on
the ground it's really hard to tell they're railway
cars," said Duffy, who
notes the frozen Battle River
underneath the structure is popular with
snowmobilers like himself.
"I've been here going on 23 years, and I've never
thought about a train going off the trestle," he
He said there's also a lot of grain on the snow
around the wreckage.
It's the third train to derail in Alberta in a week.
On Friday, 18 cars went off the tracks near Hay
Lakes, southeast of Edmonton.
Earlier last week, a CN freight train derailed
between Hinton and Grande Cache.
There were no injuries in the Hay Lakes derailment
but one crew member was hurt in the Hinton
Senecal said the cause of Saturday's derailment near
Fabyan is still under investigation.
She said CN is re-routing traffic to a line further
"It's too early at this stage to say when the line
will be reopened to traffic," she said.
The bridge originally opened in 1909, and according
to the town Of Wainwright's website, a man was
required at that time to walk the entire length
prior to each train crossing.
While images of trains falling car-after-car from
blown-up bridges are common in old movies, Senecal
explained that the weight of the cars usually snaps
the couplers and keeps that from happening.
"You have one car that falls, and very soon you have
another, but pretty soon the coupler is going to
break," she said.