Latest Derailment: Whitecourt, Alberta, Canada

Repost from The Wall Street Journal

Two Oil-Tank Cars on Canadian National Train Derail in Rural Alberta

No Injuries or Fire Reported
By David George-Cosh  |  July 4, 2014

Two crude-carrying cars on a train operated by Canadian National Railway Ltd. derailed in central Alberta early Friday, according to the railway company and a local official. There were no reports of injuries or fire.

The 79-car train was carrying oil and forestry products when it derailed near Whitecourt, Alberta, about 125 miles northwest of Edmonton, capital of the oil-rich province, according to a spokesman with Canada’s Transportation Safety Board.

A CN spokeswoman said three other cars also left the tracks but contained paper and forest products.

The train, which originated in Whitecourt, was en route to a terminal in Edmonton when the cars left the track, according to Whitecourt fire chief Brian Wynn. Mr. Wynn said the train was carrying 81 cars.

The CN spokeswoman, Emily Hamer, said the company had contained “slight seepage” from a valve on one tank car but that both oil-carrying cars that derailed remained intact. She said the cause of the accident was being investigated, and that both derailed tank cars were currently on their side.

The incident comes just two days before the one-year anniversary of a deadly train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, in which a train carrying 72 cars of crude from the Bakken Shale slammed into the town’s downtown, killing 47 people.

Since then, other crude-by-rail derailments have occurred in Alabama, North Dakota, Lynchburg, Va., and elsewhere in Canada. Those occurred even as U.S. and Canadian regulators moved to toughen safety standards amid growing transport of oil by rail.

The TSB said it had dispatched an investigator to the site.

The train was headed southbound on a secondary main line where trains typically travel at slower speeds, Mr. Wynn said.