February 7, 2019 12:38 am
Updated: February 7, 2019 12:39 am

Rail line through Field, B.C. reopens after train derailment kills 3 workers

A train derailment is shown near Field, B.C., Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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The rail line running through Field, B.C. that was the site of a train derailment that killed three Canadian Pacific (CP) workers on Monday has re-opened, a CP spokesperson said Wednesday.

“In close collaboration with Transport Canada, and upon completion of all necessary safety checks, CP’s mainline through Field, B.C. re-opened earlier today,” said CP spokesperson Salem Woodrow in an email to Global News.

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“CP crews and contractors remain on the scene working diligently in challenging conditions to remove the damaged rail cars and equipment.”

READ MORE: 3 CP Railway employees from Calgary killed in major train derailment near Field, B.C.

The train was travelling west to Vancouver when it derailed near the Alberta-B.C. border at around 1 a.m. Mountain time Monday, claiming the lives of conductor Dylan Paradis, locomotive engineer Andrew Dockrell and conductor trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. All three men were from Calgary.

At a Tuesday morning news conference, Transportation Safety Board senior investigator James Carmichael said Canadian Pacific Railway (CP Rail) train 301 had been stopped with air brakes applied at Partridge, the last station before the entrance to the Upper Spiral Tunnel, for about two hours when “the train began to move on its own.”

WATCH: Transportation Safety Board says train in deadly B.C. derailment began moving on its own

“A change-off between crews had occurred at this station as the previous crew was closing in on their maximum hours of service,” he said. “The ‘occurrence crew’ had just arrived and boarded the train but were not yet ready to depart.

“We’re going to try and determine why the brakes didn’t stay in place.”

Carmichael explained there were no handbrakes applied on the train while it was stopped.

“The train then accelerated to a speed well in excess of maximum track speed of 20 miles per hour (32 kilometres per hour) for the tight curves and steep mountain grade — and the train derailed.”

READ MORE: Parked train started moving on its own before fatal B.C. derailment, TSB says

Carmichael said they don’t know the exact speed the train was travelling when it derailed.

Event recorder data from the lead locomotive isn’t yet in the possession of the TSB as the locomotive was severely damaged. Some data has been recovered from the tail-end locomotive and work is underway to get data from the mid-train locomotive.

“It is too early to say what the causes and contributing factors to this accident might be,” Carmichael said.

Families and friends of the three men who were killed spoke out this week and a GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money in the victims’ memory.

WATCH: TSB reveals preliminary findings on fatal Field train derailment

— With files from Global News’ Heide Pearson and Melissa Gilligan

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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