Saskatoon

CP Rail says last of damaged cars from Sask. train derailment should be removed soon

Canadian Pacific Railway says it expects the last of its damaged cars will be removed by the end of the week from the site of a fiery derailment in Saskatchewan.

Derailment near Guernsey, Sask. leaked more than 1M litres of crude oil earlier this month

Fire burns at the site of this month's CP train derailment near Guernsey, Sask. More than one million litres of crude oil leaked from rail cars after the Dec. 9, 2019, derailment. (Transportation Safety Board)

Canadian Pacific Railway says it expects the last of its damaged cars will be removed by the end of the week from the site of a fiery derailment in Saskatchewan.

It also says in an email that staff have started scraping contaminated soil from the area, which is to be hauled away in the coming days.

The freight train derailed Dec. 9 near Guernsey, Sask. about 115 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon, causing 33 oil tank cars and one hopper car to leave the tracks.

The Transportation Safety Board has said about 19 cars were breached and emptied of their loads, releasing 1.5 million litres of oil.

The spill sparked a large fire, which burned for about 24 hours.

CP Rail says it will implement a soil remediation plan based on the tests being done by its environmental experts in consultation with the province.

By comparison, 225,000 litres of oil leaked into the North Saskatchewan River from a Husky line near Maidstone in July 2016.

The emergency brakes on the CP train in Monday's derailment were applied after one of the lead cars jumped the tracks while the train was going about 72 km/h — the speed limit on the line.

Both the locomotive engineer and conductor on Monday's train were fit for duty and no one was injured, according to the TSB. The 516-398 train was carrying the oil to Oklahoma. It originated in Rosyth, Alta., east of the Hardisty terminal, a large heavy crude oil storage hub for Canada. 

 No waterways were affected, said the TSB. Its definition of "waterways" does not include the water table.

Of the 33 derailed cars — which ended up in a large pile over some 500 metres — about 20 were breached and spilled out product that became engulfed in flames that burned for about 24 hours.

About 19 of the oil tank cars lost their entire loads.

With files from Guy Quenneville

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