Canadian Underwriter

Derailments prompt Alberta to lay track to rail safety investigation

November 5, 2013   by THE CANADIAN PRESS

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EDMONTON – The fourth train derailment in Alberta in two months has led the province’s transportation minister to launch an investigation into whether rail companies are meeting their safety obligations.

Minister responsible Ric McIver says while rail probes fall under federal jurisdiction, his department has serious concerns about the number and frequency of accidents.

McIver says he’s looking for a report soon.

The latest derailment occurred when 13 cars in a CN freight jumped the tracks near Peers, west of Edmonton, early Sunday morning.

The accident happened about 15 days after a CN train derailed on the same line near Gainford, sparking an evacuation of the small community when petroleum products in some crippled tanker cars caught fire.

Warren Chandler, a CN spokesman, says accidents on the company’s main track network have fallen 69 per cent since 2005, and the trend continues in 2013.