Posts Tagged ‘CN derailments’

2 CN Workers Hurt in Michigan Derailment

February 11, 2021

Two Canadian National workers sustained “non-life-threatening injuries” during a derailment in Escanaba, Michigan, on Tuesday.

The derailment occurred about 8 p.m. and did not involve any hazardous materials.

Traffic was not obstructed and the cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

Canadian Safety Board Issues Recommendations Following CN River Tunnel Derailment

November 18, 2020

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has issued four safety advisory letters in connection with its investigation of a June 28, 2019, derailment of a Canadian National train in the St. Clair River tunnel connecting Sarnia, Ontario, and Port Huron, Michigan.

The derailment resulted in 46 cars of the 140 cars in the train leaving the tracks.

The TSB said first car to derail appeared to be the 53rd car, a bathtub gondola, in which the A-end appears to have collapsed.

An analysis by the TSB and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board determined the initial point of derailment occurred in Canada.

Also derailing was a tank car loaded with sulphuric acid that saw most of its load of 12,000 gallons spilled in the tunnel.

TSB has asked Transport Canada to ensure that railroads have instructions in their emergency procedures on how to inspect a train carrying hazardous materials after a derailment in a tunnel. It noted that after the June 28 derailment, the the conductor left the locomotive to inspect the train following in accordance with CN rules.

However, he could not be reached by radio by other crew members to warn him that the tunnel’s toxic gas alarm had activated. The conductor was not injured.

TSB also asked Transport Canada and the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration of potentially defective bathtub gondolas and requested that those cars— particularly those used in scrap metal service —be inspected and repaired as needed.

This particularly pertains to bathtub gondolas built by Berwick Forge. There are an estimated 2,500 such cars in operation in North America.

Finally, the TSB said Transport Canada should ensure that all railroads have adequate practices in place to effectively manage train operating personnel.

CN Reopens St. Clair River Tunnel

July 11, 2019

The St. Clair River Tunnel between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, has reopened for for rail traffic.

Canadian National finished laying new tracks in the tunnel, which had been closed after a June 28 derailment involving 46 cars and a mid-train DPU.

There were no injuries in the derailment, but sulfuric acid was spilled and had to be cleaned up.

“The spill caused no harm to the environment or to public safety as it was completely contained to the site of the derailment. The tunnel suffered only minor cosmetic damage and there was no impact to its structural integrity,” a CN spokesperson said.

Investigators have determined that the derailment began on the Canadian side of the border and therefore the Canadian Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation.

During the tunnel closure, CN rerouted some trains between Toledo and Buffalo, New York, via CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Some CN trains were rerouted via Canadian Pacific routes.

The St. Clair River links Lake Huron and Lake Erie.

CN Derailment Began in Canada

July 9, 2019

The derailment of a Canadian National train inside the St. Clair Tunnel started on the Canadian side of the border the Transportation Safety Board of Canada has concluded.

TSB will thus take the lead in investigating the June 28 derailment that closed the busy rail artery between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, for several days and led to some CN trains detouring on Norfolk Southern and CSX between Toledo and Buffalo, New York.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board was also involved in the initial investigation of the derailment.

CN said 46 cars and a DPU derailed inside the tunnel with some of the cars spilling sulfuric acid.

CN Tunnel Derailment Cleanup Continues

July 5, 2019

Workers were continuing late this week to remove and last derailed cars and clean up spilled sulphuric acid from the St. Clair River tunnel.

As of Thursday, CN reported it was close to finishing the cleanup of the June 28 derailment that has blocked the busy mainline between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario for several days.

More than 13,000 gallons of the acid spilled during the derailment that sent 26 cars and a mid-train DPU off the rails.

By Thursday 38 of the derailed cars and the locomotive had been removed from the tunnel.

CN has not given a timeline for when the line will reopen or the cleanup and repair process will be completed.

Most traffic that uses the route has been detoured over various routes, including over CSX and Norfolk Southern tracks in Northeast Ohio.

Some CN Trains Detouring Through NEO

July 3, 2019

A few Canadian National trains have been detouring through Northeast Ohio in recent days in the wake of a derailment last Friday in the St. Clair River Tunnel between Michigan and Ontario.

Workers on Monday continued to remove the derailed cars from the tunnel between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario.

Many of the derailed cars have since been removed from the tunnel, but Trains magazine reported that a DPU locomotive and several cars remained inside on Monday afternoon.

Some cars were stacked two across and three on top on each side of the locomotive.

Crews hoped to remove the locomotive and the remaining cars on Tuesday.

The train that derailed was identified as No. 383 and 46 of its cars left the tracks.

CN has been using Norfolk Southern and CSX to detour some trains west of Buffalo, New York. Some trains traveled between Buffalo and Toledo.

However, high priority intermodal trains Q148 and Q149 took CSX rails between Buffalo and Chicago.

Some CN trains were detoured over Canadian Pacific to Windsor, Ontario, and thence into Detroit via a tunnel beneath the Detroit River. CN has lines to Toledo, Buffalo and Detroit.

In a few cases, CN detoured trains over its Northern Ontario Division.

Trains noted that crew shortages caused by Victoria Day in Canada and the coming July 4th holiday in the United States has hindered how many trains could be detoured.

Trains of lesser priority were held, including several eastbounds parked in Battle Creek, Michigan, and other locations.

Workers Cleaning Up CN Wreck in St. Clair Tunnel

July 1, 2019

Workers were still cleaning up during the weekend more than 13,000 gallons of sulfuric acid that spilled in a Canadian National derailment Friday morning in the St. Clair River tunnel between Michigan and Canada.

Officials said crews are cleaning up the derailment from both sides of the border. Forty-six More than 40 cars of the westbound train derailed inside the tunnel, which links Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the derailment and whether it began on the U.S. or Canadian side of the border.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to the site but the Transportation Safety Board of Canada also has a team onsite as well.

TSC said in a statement that once the determination of where the derailment began is determined that country’s safety agency will be the lead agency in the investigation.

To remove the spilled acid, crews had to remove other derailed cars to reach the site. The acid was being pumped out of the tunnel.

Railroad officials have not provided an estimate of how long the more the tunnel will be closed.

More than a mile in length, the tunnel opened in 1995 to replace an adjacent tunnel built in 1891.

CN Derailment Blocks St. Clair Tunnel

June 28, 2019

Canadian National is diverting traffic that normally uses the St. Clair Tunnel in Michigan through Detroit after an early Friday morning derailment inside the tunnel linking the U.S. and Canada.

No injuries were reported in the derailment, which occurred around 6 a.m. and saw 40 cars of the westbound train jump the tracks in the middle of the tunnel.

CN officials said it could take days to repair the tunnel and its tracks.

The cleanup of the derailment is being undertaken by U.S. and Canadian workers because it occurred on the border between the two countries.

The tunnel connects Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, beneath the St. Clair River.