Freight train derails in Selkirk, wheels torn away

A train derailment in Selkirk on Wednesday evening has left a number of freight cars lying in ditches alongside the track..

Second derailment on stretch of rail line this week

There is no word yet on what caused the derailment, the second one this week. (Courtesy Adam Flood)

A train derailment in Selkirk, Man. on Wednesday evening has left a number of freight cars lying in ditches alongside the track, some with their wheels torn away.

It's the second time this week that a derailment has happened on that stretch of line, the first occurring on Monday, according to Kevin Crooks, who works at Kinetic Machine Works, a business that backs onto the tracks in the northwest corner of the city.

He described the scene from Wednesday as "a train-wreck, literally," saying there are some cars rolled over in the ditch "and a bunch of others all askew, just kind of piled up."
The wheels on a number of freight cars were torn off in the derailment. (Courtesy Adam Flood)

"There's a lot of wheels missing off them," he added.

Cranes were brought out Wednesday to remove some of the cars but an approaching storm forced crews to abandon the effort, Crooks said.

He estimates about 10 cars remain to be cleared at the scene.

There's no official word on what the cars were hauling, though Crooks has heard it was a concrete powder mix. Selkirk Redi Mix Ltd, a supplier of concrete mix has a plant on the other side of the tracks from Kinetic Machine Works.
A number of freight cars are lying on their sides, in the ditch alongside the track. (Courtesy Adam Flood)

The rail line is owned by CP Rail and operated by Lake Line Railroad. A CP Rail spokeswoman declined to comment and referred calls to Lake Line Railroad.

No one from Lake Line has yet returned calls from CBC.

Crooks said the ground in the area where the derailments happened is saturated after several days of rain, and he thinks it could have played a part in the crash.

"It's kind of shocking that they had two in a week," he said.

Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson said he wasn't aware of the derailment until CBC News called.

Selkirk is located about 30 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

The red-roofed building is Kinetic Machine Works and the the pin on the tracks behind the building is where the train derailed. (Google Street View)

With files from Austin Grabish