November 4, 2013 9:09 pm
Updated: November 4, 2013 10:17 pm

Alberta Transportation Minister wants investigation following second train derailment in two weeks


EDMONTON – CN’S Mainline is once again running, after a derailment Sunday morning sent 13 cars – one of which was carrying dangerous goods – off the tracks near Peers, Alberta.

It happened east of Highway 32 in Yellowhead County, roughly 175 kilometres west of Edmonton.

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CN Spokesperson Patrick Waldron said 12 cars were carrying lumber, and the one car carrying sulphur dioxide was sitting upright and not leaking after the derailment.

No one was injured in the incident, which Waldron said posed no threat to the public or the environment.

This is the fourth derailment in Alberta in the past two months, though, and comes just 15 days after a train carrying petroleum crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas came off the tracks near Gainford, AB.

The site of Sunday’s derailment is about 85 kilometres west of the Gainford site. Waldron said Sunday’s derailment happened on the same rail line as the one two weeks ago.

And that has Alberta’s Transportation Minister concerned.

“While we’re relieved that there was no people injured or they did not have to evacuate as a result of this weekend’s event, I have asked for an investigation out of Alberta Transportation,” said Minister Ric McIver.

“Clearly this is primarily federal jurisdiction. But we have concerns here, too – we’re taking them seriously,” he added.

CN maintains that neither government nor people living along its rail lines need to worry. Despite recent high profile derailments, the company says statistics show a strong and improving safety record.

“Since 2005, our main track accidents on our network have fallen by 69 per cent,” said Warren Chandler with CN.

He said that trend continues into 2013.

The minister hopes the results of his investigation will be released soon. As for the formal derailment investigations in Peers and Gainford, CN says both are still underway.

With files from Fletcher Kent and Caley Ramsay, Global News

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