At about 12:20 a.m. Saturday, 16 cars of an eastbound train — six empty automobile carriers and 10 loaded with crude oil — derailed while entering Gordon Yard, according to CN Rail.
One of the cars had a minor leak and just over 150 litres dripped on to the ground below the car, says a CN spokesman.
But Moncton Fire chief Eric Arsenault says the department wasn’t notified until more than seven hours later.
“From our perspective, we would have preferred to know about the derailment at the moment it happened,” said Arsenault.
“But the way things unfurled, RST, which is a company that was sent from Saint John to do the transfer of oil from the damaged car to a spare car, requested our presence as a precaution in case something were to go wrong in the transfer of product.”
The incident happened on private property, away from homes, businesses and the main rail line.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation, says a CN spokesman.
Transport Canada says it will follow up with CN to make sure rail safety rules were complied with.
Saskatchewan train derailment cars same as those in Lac-Megantic disaster
WADENA, Sask. — The Canadian Press, Oct. 09 2014
CN Rail says the tanker cars that derailed and caught fire this week near a small community in Saskatchewan are the same type as those involved in the Lac Megantic disaster last year.
Jim Feeny says the Class DOT-111 rail cars are owned by shippers or leasing companies and CN has no choice but to accept them.
Almost three-quarters of the tanker cars used in North America are 111s.
Feeny says regulators on both sides of the border have laid out a time frame to replace the older cars, but it will take time.
“We are on record as favouring a very aggressive phase-out of the older model DOT-111s, but we are required to accept these cars at this point,” Feeny told radio station CKRM Thursday.
“We are required to operate them. We have no choice in that matter. We are calling on the industry and the federal government to phase them out, but the fact is, there are many of them, and it will take time to do this.”
Both CN and CP have said they are already phasing out or retrofitting their fleet.
Dozens of people had to leave their homes this week in Clair, Sask., and surrounding area when 26 cars derailed and two of them carrying petroleum distillate caught fire.
Forty-seven people were killed when a runaway train carrying crude oil barrelled down a hill, derailed and exploded in downtown Lac Megantic in July 2013.
The Association of American Railroads has recommended that the 111s used to transport flammable liquids be retrofitted or phased out and wants a reinforced standard for new tank cars.
The 111 car is considered the workhorse of the North American fleet and makes up about 70 per cent of all tankers on the rails. The cars have a service life of between 30 and 40 years.
Since October 2011, all new tanker cars have been built to safer specifications. But there is a long backlog on new car orders because there are only a handful of manufacturers in North America.
A government-commissioned report has said there are about 228,000 DOT-111 cars in service throughout North America. About 92,000 of them carry flammable liquids.
About 26,000 reinforced models have been put into service and that’s expected to rise to 52,500 next year.
Adam Scott, a spokesman for the advocacy group Environmental Defence, said Canada has seen an exponential growth in the amount of oil travelling by rail.
“The rail system was not designed with public safety in mind for that much oil,” said Scott, who added that the DOT-111 cars are generally used.
“They have well-documented safety problems,” he said. “They are very thin and in crashes they do tend to leak and explode.”
Scott said freight rail lines “actually go right through the centre of almost every major urban centre in the entire country including small towns … so the risk of accidents is significant.”
Crews Begin Cleanup Work After Baton Rouge Train Derailment
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) – Seven cars from a train travelling along tracks near S. Choctaw and N. Sherwood Forest Drive in Baton Rouge, LA, derailed around 9:30 AM, Friday.
Investigators on the scene say they’ve found residue of Difulourmethane, a hazardous material, on the scene. They say they are still investigating what caused the cars to come off the tracks. Patrick Waldron, a spokesman for Canadian National Railway Company (CN) says and empty tank car was last last carrying Difulourmethane, but the car is currently empty.
Mark Miles with the Baton Rouge Fire Department says it will take up to six hours for crews to clean up the mess. BRFD has re-opened the intersection of North Sherwood Forest and Choctaw.
Patrick Waldron, a CN Spokesman, says seven cars on an Eastbound train derailed. The train was headed from Baton Rouge, LA, to Jackson, MS. There were no injuries reported, and there is no indication of any leaks at this time. Crews are on the scene to conduct a full investigation of the incidents leading up to the derailment. The train had just departed the CN train yard in Baton Rouge, LA. Of the seven train cars that derailed, one was empty, one car was carrying fiber board, three cars were carrying plastic pellets, and two cars were carrying lube oil. Some of the plastic pellets have come out onto the ground, but none of the oil has leaked out of the cars.
CN crews are beginning the cleanup process to get the car back upright and repair damage to the track. At this point, Waldron says it’s unclear how much damage was done. CN crews will be better able to assess the damage once they’ve righted the derailed cars and moved them out of the way.
This particular train track goes between Baton Rouge, LA, and Hammond, LA, and it is closed to other train traffic until the necessary repairs are made to the track. CN officials could not provide details on any delays this might be causing to other freight trains in the area