Calgary train derailment occurs near site of 2013 'CP Fail' in Inglewood

A train has derailed in Calgary's Inglewood community, but this one is not believed to pose an immediate threat — unlike a 2013 incident that led to mass evacuations in the same area.

CP Rail says about 14 cars went off rail line near intersection of 15th Street and 19th Avenue S.E.

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra reacts to Thursday's CP Rail derailment. 3:48

A train has derailed in Calgary's Inglewood community, but this one is not believed to pose an immediate threat — unlike a 2013 incident that led to mass evacuations in the same area.

The derailment happened about 6:20 a.m. Thursday on the CP Rail line near the intersection of 15th Street and 19th Avenue S.E.

CP Rail spokesman Martin Cej said about 14 cars left the tracks at a "very slow speed" of roughly six kilometres per hour.

Three empty cars were lying on their sides off the rails, according to Calgary Fire Department spokeswoman Carol Henke.

One other car that derailed but was still standing upright had been carrying a sulphur-containing material, Henke said, but fire crews didn't believe it posed a threat.

Cej said that car and two others were used to carry hazardous materials but were mainly empty at the time of the derailment, with only a small amount of residue inside them.

The one full car involved in the derailment was carrying vegetables.

The approximate location of the train derailment is indicated by the red dot on this map image. (Google Maps/CBC)

A hazardous-material team was on scene, but Henke said some of the firefighting apparatus that initially responded to the derailment began to leave once it was determined they weren't needed.

She said the biggest challenge facing emergency responders was a downed power line that forced crews to wait until it was de-energized.

An EMS spokesman said there were no reported injuries.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said it is deploying a team of investigators to the derailment site.

Cej said the company is sorry for the impact the incident had on area residents and people driving through the area Thursday morning.

"Obviously, it made the commute very hectic for commuters and, for that, CP apologizes," he said.

Cleanup of the site was expected to take until Thursday evening.

Site of previous 'CP Fail'

Thursday's derailment happened in the same area as a 2013 derailment that saw eight cars carrying flammable liquids leave the tracks and prompt the evacuation of more than 140 nearby homes.

That incident led dozens of Inglewood residents to protest dangerous goods being carried through their community, many of them chanting "CP Fail" during a rally outside the company's Alyth Yard.

The Calgary Fire Department later sent CP Rail an invoice for more than $500,000 because the derailment forced firefighters to remain on scene around the clock for days.

In addition to the TSB investigation, CP Rail plans to conduct a "full investigation" of its own into Thursday's incident and Cej said the results of the probe would be shared publicly.

"All of that will be disclosed as soon as we have those facts," he said.

'More common than you'd think'

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said these types of derailments around Alyth Yard are "actually surprisingly more common than you'd think" because of the high volume of traffic that passes through the area. 

"Honestly, every two months or so I get a call from CP rail telling us that something's gone off the track," he said.

"To me, it's become part of the routine of being a city councillor, the same way a watermain break is during the winter."

Carra said rail transportation is "way safer than moving things by truck," and said the city's emphasis should be on continuing to improve existing safety protocols in collaboration with CP Rail. 

"What we've recognized is that the CP Rail and the Alyth Yard, they're not going anywhere. They helped build Calgary. What we want to do is make sure we have the best relationship possible."


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