Some highways remain closed, Trans-Canada reopens

It could be another frustrating day for Saskatchewan travellers amid continued cold, high winds and drifting snow.
On Thursday, crews were clearing away snowdrifts on the Trans-Canada Highway near Belle Plaine, which is between Regina and Moose Jaw. (Highway Hotline/Morsky Construction)

It could be another frustrating day for Saskatchewan travellers amid continued cold, gusting winds and drifting snow — but there is some improvement being reported on major routes.

Early Friday morning, sections of some of the most travelled highways in Saskatchewan — including the Trans-Canada and Highway 11 — were still closed or travel was not recommended.

However, by 9:30 a.m. CST, conditions had improved on Highway 11 between Regina and Saskatoon and officials said they were preparing to reopen the closed sections of the Trans-Canada.

Highways officials were warning people that if a highway is closed, they must not try to make it through. The RCMP said some of the snowdrifts are so hard-packed, that vehicles could be damaged if they run into them.

STC buses delayed

The bad roads are affecting STC's bus service as well.

The company had to cancel a number of routes yesterday and there were more cancellations Friday.

They include buses running from Lanigan to Regina, Carnduff to Regina, Unity to Saskatoon, Macklin to Saskatoon, and Saskatoon to Swift Current.

Passengers are being asked to check the STC website to see if their buses are delayed or running.

Via train stuck, arrives in Saskatoon

Meanwhile, 154 Via Rail passengers who were stuck on a train near Unity, Sask. for nearly 30 hours because of heavy snow have finally made it into Saskatoon. 

Passengers cheered and hugged friends and family as their train pulled up into the city's station.

"No, this has not been too bad," said Bill McCready, who is on his way to Toronto. "I wouldn't have wanted to be out in the snow though. I was kind of wondering about that, but they did treat us very well," he said.

Martin Wooldridge told CBC News at around 6:40 a.m. CST that the train had been stuck about eight kilometres west of the town for 21 hours.

It was apparently held up behind some CN freight trains that were stopped on the tracks as well.

Wooldridge said there was still food and water on the train, but it's running low.

"It's totally disappointing," he said.

Via confirmed that around 9 a.m. CST the Via train began moving again.

CN Rail said the extreme weather had caused delays to all trains in the prairie region, but a spokesperson would not comment specifically on the Via train.

He said crews have been working non-stop overnight to get the trains running again on the CN tracks.